Uber threatens ISDS case against Columbia after government decision to block platform company

January 14, 2020: Uber has written to the Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez to officially notify him that it intends to sue the Colombian government for its decision to block the platform company from operating in the country.

The decision came after a lawsuit was brought against Uber that claimed it was providing its services through unfair competition.

Uber argues the decision to ban Uber but not similar companies from Columbia and other countries violates the expropriation, fair and equitable treatment, national treatment and most-favoured nation treatment provisions in the investment chapter of the Colombia-US free trade agreement (FTA). It has threatened to sue Columbia if the dispute cannot be resolved via consultation and negotiation.

Uber would use the Investor to state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the Colombia-US to bring the case. These provisions give corporations the right to sue government’s for policy decisions that impact on their investments.