FILE PHOTO: Uber’s logo is pictured at its office in Bogota, Colombia, December 12, 2019. Picture taken December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/File Photo
MILAN (Reuters) – Italian magistrates have placed an Italian unit of Uber Technologies under special administration as part of an investigation into alleged exploitation of food delivery riders, three people familiar with the case said on Friday.
Uber Italia said it had made its Uber Eats platform available to restaurants and couriers in full respect of the law and it condemned any form of illegal intermediation.
“We participate actively in the debate around regulation which we believe will give the food delivery sector the necessary legal security to prosper in Italy,” Uber Italia said in an emailed statement.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly about the case, said magistrates are looking into a case concerning around 1,000 delivery riders, who were alleged to have been paid three euros an hour to deliver meals.
The sources said Uber Eats is alleged to have paid much higher sums to two recruitment companies that took on and managed the riders, most of them foreigners recruited from migrant reception centres.
One of the companies and four individuals are also under investigation, the sources said.
Uber Italia can continue to operate under the special administration.
Reporting by Emilio Parodi, Elvira Pollina. Editing by Jane Merriman