In video, Uber CEO speaks openly about impact of competitors on pricing | TechCrunch

You can check out the full clip below to see what transpires, and why Kalanick might have been caught off guard.

Kalanick initiates the exchange by talking work with Kamel, noting to him that, “We’re reducing the number of Black cars over the next six months. You probably saw the email.”

“I saw the email, starts in May,” Kamel says. But he quickly adds: “It’s all about the rating. But you’re raising the standards but dropping the pricing.”

Kalanick shoots back, “We’re not dropping the price on Black.”

“But in general . . . , ” says Kamel.

“We have to, we have competitors,” says Kalanick. “Otherwise, you go out of business.”

Here, the driver presses Kalanick, saying doesn’t believe the matter is out of Kalanick’s hands. He suggests that Uber could have and should have remained a service for people who would otherwise take private town cars — Uber’s earliest model — rather than a business that features a variety of price points for a variety of riders. “There is, man. You had the business model in your hands. You could have the prices you want, but you choose to give everybody a ride.”

“No,” Kalanick starts,”you misunderstand me. We started high end. We didn’t go low end because we wanted to, we went low end because we had to . . .”

Kamel then seemingly refers to Lyft, calling competition with Uber’s most direct competitor a “piece of cake.”

“No,” says Kalanick. “It seems like a piece of cake because I’ve beaten them. But if I didn’t do the things I did, we would have been beaten . . .”

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In video, Uber CEO speaks openly about impact of competitors on pricing | TechCrunch.