One of the most interesting challenges of advances in information technology is discerning where property rights end and business models begin. Here, a New York trial court judge (despite its grand name, the New York Supreme Court is actually the lowest rung of the judicial ladder in New York State) tells taxi medallion lenders that the law doesn’t protect their commercial interests from what Joseph Schumpeter famously called the perennial gale of creative destruction. (Note: Link includes the full opinion.) >>>
LINK: Judge rules on taxi industry lawsuit: Compete with Uber or die (by Erik Engquist in Crain’s New York)
Photo: Buck Ennis
Judge tells taxis to compete with Uber.
A state judge has slammed the door on a legal challenge by opponents of Uber, clearing the way for the rideshare giant to run traditional taxis off the road.
In a decision unveiled Wednesday, Queens Supreme Court Justice Allan Weiss ruled that for-hire vehicles could use electronic hails to compete with yellow cabs—something they have been doing well enough to threaten the existence of the iconic 80-year-old industry.
“Any expectation that the medallion would function as a shield against the rapid technological advances of the modern world would not have been reasonable,” [Judge Weiss] wrote. “In this day and age, even with public utilities, investors must always be wary of new forms of competition arising from technological developments.” . . . “It is not the court’s function to adjust the competing political and economic interests disturbed by the introduction of Uber-type apps[.]”
What do you think?