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Why Uber Stock Fell Today

By Evan Niu, CFA - Feb 27, 2020 at 12:26PM

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The ridesharing company continues to face legal challenges, and the coronavirus outbreak is rattling investors.

What happened

Shares of ridesharing giant Uber Technologies (UBER 0.06%) have fallen today, down by 5% as of 11:40 a.m. EST, following some ongoing setbacks in Europe. The broader market is also selling off due to fears surrounding the escalating coronavirus outbreak.

So what

Uber lost its license to operate in London back in November, which the tech company is in the process of appealing. The court has now decided to allow the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association to participate in the case as an interested party, according to Reuters. That will give the organization, which opposes Uber, the ability to make submissions, as well as access documents, potentially making Uber's appeal more difficult.

Uber and Uber Eats apps on a phone

Image source: Uber.

Separately, European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager told Bloomberg that she is exploring ways to help drivers get better working conditions and higher wages. Vestager wants to make it easier for freelancers and self-employed contractors to unionize.

Now what

The developments underscore the challenges and criticisms that Uber has long faced in its ridesharing and food delivery business. The company is currently embroiled in a legal battle in its home state of California, which recently passed a gig economy law designed to help contract workers.

Meanwhile, risks associated with the coronavirus outbreak are reverberating throughout the market, triggering a broad sell-off that is impacting tech stocks with lofty valuations in particular. The epidemic could also hurt demand for ridesharing services as consumers around the world travel less to mitigate potential exposure to the disease.

The first patient diagnosed with the coronavirus in London earlier this month took an Uber to the hospital.

Evan Niu, CFA has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Uber Technologies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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