Biz Break: Uber sets up scheduled service in Seattle; loses in French, German courts

Top Of The Order:  

Uber, Uber Everywhere: Just a few things happening Thursday with the ride-hailing service that never seems to find a way to not stay out of the public’s eye.

First, Uber said in a company blog post that it will now let you schedule an Uber pickup between 30 minutes and 30 days in advance of when you need a ride. The new service, called Scheduled Rides, might come in handy next month when I’m on vacation in my hometown of Seattle.

The reason why I mention Seattle is because, at least for now, that is the only city where Scheduled Rides is in place. The way it works is you open up the uberX option on the Uber app, tap on “Schedule a Ride,” and then set the date and time up to 30 days ahead of when you need a lift. The service will let you know if your ride will take place during “surge pricing” hours, and will also send a reminder both 24 hours and 30 minutes ahead of your pickup time.

Uber plans on rolling out Scheduled Rides in what it calls “other top business travel cities,” but for now, it’s just in Seattle. Which means it will be there when I need a lift to haul all the new Seattle Seahawks gear I plan on buying back to my my mom’s house. (Sorry, 49ers fans. There won’t be room for any Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert jerseys in the car.)

While Uber was launching that new service, it was also busy losing a couple of cases over in Europe.

One, in France, resulted in Uber being fined $907,000 (or, 800, 000 euros, as the case took place in the eurozone) over its low-cost UberPop service. Uber was charged with deceptive commercial practices and operating an illegal business, and French taxi companies originally wanted to wring 100 million euros out of Uber’s financial coffers.

(Really, though. Don’t mess with French taxis. Parisian taxi drivers kept their meters running even as they ferried troops to the front in the Miracle on the Marne in World War I. If those cabbies weren’t going to show any charity in the face of a German onslaught, what chance did Uber have?)

And speaking of Germany…Uber went oh-for-two in the courtroom Thursday, as an appeals court in Frankfurt upheld a German ban on UberPop. The court had ruled last year that UberPop violated German law because it employed unlicensed drivers. Uber appealed the decision, but failed to convince the German court to see things its way.

Middle Innings:

Some Bangers And Mash With That?: Amazon is expanding its Amazon Fresh food delivery service. This time, it’s going back to Mother England.

Amazon on Thursday began offering Amazon Fresh deliveries to areas in north and east London in what is the first expansion of the food delivery business outside the U.S. Those Londoners will be able to choose from approximately 130,000 products with their Amazon Fresh deliveries.

Is The End Near? With regards to Yahoo’s process of selling itself? Don’t be silly. This isn’t a drive-in theater swap meet. It’s not ending at sundown on Saturday.

But, it is moving along. CNBC reported that Yahoo has received “multiple bids” of at least $5 billion each for its core internet business, and that the next round in the bidding process is expected to start next week. The bidding is expected to finish in mid-July, by which time it will have taken only slightly longer than the Golden State Warriors’ two-month-long run through the NBA playoffs.

And the way the Warriors got blown off the court last night, the end to those playoffs can’t come soon enough.

Bottom Of The Lineup:

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Thursday…

Movin’ On Up: Gains came from Natus Medical, Sigma Designs, FormFactor, Nvidia and Power Integrations.

In The Red: Decliners included Extreme Networks, Rocket Fuel, Harmonic, Infoblox and Quotient Technology.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.3 percent to 4,958.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped by 0.1 percent to 17,985.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ended the day off by 0.2 percent at 2,115.

Quote Of The Day: “I would’ve done the same thing.” — Warriors guard Steph Curry, who was speaking about coach Steve Kerr briefly pulling him out of Wednesday’s blowout 120-90 loss to Cleveland in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

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Photo: A  woman leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco in 2014. (AP/Eric Risberg)


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