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U.S. Justice Dept sues Uber for overcharging disabled people

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The U.S. Justice Department is taking ride-hailing app Uber to court, suing them over claims it has been overcharging disabled people

The Department claims Uber’s “wait time” fees are discriminating against disabled passengers who need more than two minutes to get into a car.

The DoJ says the ride service needs to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act known as ADA.

Uber has however responded, stating that wait time fees were not intended to apply to disabled riders and that it had been refunding the fees to those charged.

Kristen Clarke, assistance attorney general for the DoJ’s civil rights division said the lawsuit aimed to send a “powerful message that Uber cannot penalise passengers with disabilities simply because they need more time to get into a car”.

Clarke added that Uber and other ride hailing companies such as Lyft and Taxi services “must ensure equal access for all people, including those with disabilities,”

DoJ says Uber and other ride hailing companies such as Lyft and Taxi services must abide by the ADA. / Image: File

Uber disagrees that it violated the ADA

An Uber spokesperson stated that the company had been in talks with the Department fo Justice prior to the “surprising and disappointing” lawsuit.

The spokesperson stated that fees were “never intended for riders who are ready at their designated pickup location but need more time to get into the car”,

In the statement, Uber revealed it does have a policy of refunding wait time fees for disabled riders whenever they alerted the firm that they had been charged.

“After a recent change last week, now any rider who certifies they are disabled will have fees automatically waived,”

The spokesperson confirmed.

Uber began charging passengers for driver waiting times back in 2016.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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World’s second-biggest fashion retailer blames Russia for 89% profit drop

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The Swedish fashion giant H&M says profits have dropped 89 per cent

They blame cost inflation, slow consumer spending and one-off expenses related to its exit from Russia.

Pretax profit in the period, the Swedish group’s fiscal third quarter, fell to 689 million crowns ($60.9 million) from a year-earlier 6.09 billion.

The Russian exit accounted for half of the decrease in profits, according to the retailer.

H&M announced a cost cutting programme that it predicted would result in annual savings of around 2 billion crowns, with savings expected to become visible in the second half of 2023.

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How Disney beat Netflix at its own game

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When it comes to streaming, there’s a new sheriff in town.

Disney+ has quickly become a major force in the streaming wars, adding over 14 million new subscribers in its latest quarter. That’s a big jump from the 3 million it had just three months prior.

In comparison, Netflix lost nearly 1 million subscribers in the same period.

So what happened? How did Disney+ overtake Netflix so quickly?

There are a few factors at play.

For one, Disney+ has a lot of content that people want to watch. As well as its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the service  has access to popular franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, and The Simpsons. That’s a big draw for people who are looking for something to watch.

In addition, Disney+ is much cheaper than Netflix. A subscription to Disney+ costs $6.99 per month, while a Netflix subscription starts at $8.99 per month. For people who are trying to save money, Disney+ is the more appealing option. Though Disney and Netflix have signalled they’re going to push up their prices.

Disney+ has been aggressive in marketing itself as the superior streaming service. The company has run a number of ads that compare its service favorably to Netflix. This has helped convince people to switch to Disney+.

The Disney effect

The Walt Disney Company launched Disney+ on November 12, 2019. The streaming service is available in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico.

As of the second quarter of 2020, Netflix had nearly 221 million subscribers across 190 countries.

Factbox

What is the market share of Netflix? In the United States, Netflix has a market share of 37%. That means it is the most popular streaming service in the country.

When was Netflix founded? Netflix was founded on August 29, 1997, in Scotts Valley, California.

What type of company is Netflix? Netflix is a publicly-traded company. Its stock is traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol NFLX.

What is the headquarters of Netflix? The headquarters of Netflix is located in Los Gatos, California.

Disney+ facts

Disney is spending $1 billion per year on its streaming service.

What is the market share of Disney+? In the United States, Disney+ has a market share of 24%.

When was Disney+ launched? Disney+ was launched on November 12, 2019.

What type of company is Disney? Disney is a publicly-traded company. Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DIS.

How much does Disney stock cost? As of August 2020, the price of one share of Disney stock is $115.76.

What is the headquarters of Disney? The headquarters of Disney is located in Burbank, California.

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Business

The world’s largest online retailer gives staff a pay rise

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Workers at Amazon’s warehouse and transportation hubs are set to receive a pay rise

The world’s biggest online retailer says wages will increase to over 19 dollars, which is up from 18.

It’s part of a plan to help the company attract and retain workers in a very tight labor market.

Of course, the peak shopping season is also getting underway.

Amazon says the price increase will cost its company nearly one billion dollar in the next year alone.

The minimum for workers on an hourly wage will stay at 15 dollars.

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