An Uber non-scandal

Uber Starts Charging What It Thinks You’re Willing to Pay – Bloomberg

Charging what the market will bear isn’t controversial. What’s new here is the way what the market will bear is determined, and the granularity of the market which could get as fine as the individual consumer. Even though this is a a new and more accurate tool, I don’t see how its use is a radical departure from how goods and services are priced. 

Uber will most certainly “optimize” this methodology for pricing if it attributes a decline in revenue to the pricing. Uber’s objective is not accuracy or consistency or fairness for their own sake, which is also entirely consistent with its function in the market. 

If one is a proponent of, or sanguine about, Uber’s disruption, as it were, one cannot take issue with this newly revealed practice without contradicting oneself.

Not so incidentally, the drivers will now have another legitimate grievance which might have only a temporary and marginal adverse effect on the business. What it will do, however, is further stretch Uber’s interpretation of the “independent contractor” classification for its drivers. By the time this classification is successfully challenged, if that happens, the issue will be moot because Uber will have virtually no need for drivers. 

An Uber non-scandal

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