Uber Sued Over Payment For Alleged Fraudulent Ads

3. January 2018.

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Uber got slapped with a lawsuit from a British mobile advertising agency, aiming to get the ride-hailing company to pay bills that the firm claims amount to millions of dollars.

According to a report in Reuters, Fetch Media filed the lawsuit in the same California federal court where Uber had sued Fetch, contending the advertising firm has billed it for nonviewable, nonexistent or fake ads. In its lawsuit, which was filed in September, Uber also contended that Fetch Media failed to hand over rebates and commissions. That case was dismissed voluntarily by Uber on Dec. 22 after it was reassigned to U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. At the time, Uber said they would pursue claims in a San Francisco court instead.

In its lawsuit, Fetch – which is based in London and is a unit of Dentsu of Japan – implied that Uber moved to dismiss the case out of concerns that it could lose after it was reassigned. Rogers has overseen other lawsuits related to Uber.

Fetch is calling for Rogers to be assigned to ascertain the contractual responsibility of both companies, and wants Uber to pay in excess of $19.7 million of outstanding invoices from 2017. “Fetch does not believe that Uber can avoid federal-court scrutiny of its incorrect contract theories so easily,” the company stated.

In September, Uber said Fetch improperly claimed credit for downloads of the Uber app, which occurred without ads even being clicked on. Uber has paid the advertising agency more than $82.5 million, but argued that Fetch’s inability to prevent advertising fraud resulted in $50 million or more in damages.

In one case, Uber said it requested that Fetch not run ads on Breitbart.com, a conservative news website run by President Donald Trump’s former strategist, Steve Bannon, but the ads were placed there anyway. Meanwhile, in Fetch’s lawsuit, it called Uber a “faithless business partner,” and claimed that it helped Uber monitor ad fraud even though it wasn’t contractually required to do so, reported Reuters.

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