Google Gets Hall Pass from Uber on Ride Hailing Price Comparison Feature

Google is opening up Maps to new ride-sharing partners, meaning the search giant just effectively created the first ride-hailing price comparison feature, writes Avery Hartmans over at Business Insider

The surprise here is that Uber, previously the only ride-sharing partner on Google Maps, allowed this. As recently as June, it was threatening Urbanhail with a ban from its API after the startup out of Harvard integrated Uber data to create what it called the first ride hailing price comparison app.  Uber claimed the company violated its terms of use which forbid the API to be used for price comparison. Urbanhail was offered a special deal to stay within terms of use, which it refused and so was cut off.

Why does Google get a free pass? Because Uber needs Google more than Google needs Uber, argues Avery. Maps has hundreds of millions of users, which Uber simply can’t afford to miss out on. If Uber weren’t on Maps, that would be no problem for Google. But it would be a big deal for Uber. 

This just isn’t the case with the price comparison apps, which need the ride hailing giant much more than it needs them. And besides, Google’s integration with Uber isn’t via its public API and so there’s no violation of the API terms of use, which still forbid price comparison. 

Original Article

Google just unveiled a feature that Uber has been blocking startups from making for years

Seamus Holland