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Uber's Latest Dramas Echo Its Controversial Startup Days

Legal showdowns and criminal charges call to mind an earlier era at the ride-hailing giant. 

Outside the Uber Technologies Inc., headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Outside the Uber Technologies Inc., headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Hi all, it's Eric. Everything old is new again. On Thursday, it felt like we were back in the world of Uber 1.0 when Travis Kalanick still ran the show.

It was a dramatic day for ride-hailing, starting in the morning California time, when Lyft announced that it would be suspending service in the state ahead of a court deadline mandating that it start classify its workers as employees. Right now Lyft's drivers in California are independent contractors. It seemed likely that Uber would also stop rides when the deadline expired at midnight that night.