U.S. Department of Justice investigates Uber over violation of bribery laws

Uber headquarters, located at 1455 Market Street (between 10th St & 11th St), San Francisco, CA 94103, U.S.

Uber Technologies Inc. said on Tuesday it was cooperating with a preliminary investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice into possible violations of bribery laws.

The preliminary investigation is the latest in a series of legal wrangles at Uber as the ride-services company waits for its new chief executive to take the reins.

Uber has chosen Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Expedia Inc., as its next leader.

A spokesman for the company confirmed the existence of a preliminary investigation following a report by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that the Justice Department had started probing whether managers at Uber violated U.S. laws against bribery of foreign officials, specifically the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

It is unclear whether authorities are focused on one country or multiple countries where the company operates.

In June, Uber hired a law firm to investigate how it obtained the medical records of an Indian woman who was raped by an Uber driver in 2014. The review was to focus in part on accusations from some current and former employees that bribes were involved, two people familiar with the matter said.

The Uber board on Sunday voted to select Khosrowshahi as the company’s next leader to replace co-founder Travis Kalanick, who was ousted in June under shareholder pressure, sources said.

Khosrowshahi on Tuesday made his first public comments since the board’s decision to make him CEO in two interviews in which he confirmed he plans to accept Uber’s top job, despite the company’s many problems. He made the comments at a previously scheduled event at Expedia’s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington.

“Are there difficulties? Are there complexities? Are there challenges? Absolutely, but that’s also what makes it fun,” Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg.

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