Drivers of services like Uber, 99 and Cabify are paid after companies discount their commissions. They can define their rules for the discount, but they may be required to respect a limit if a proposal is approved in Congress.
Update (02/10): the project was rejected by the Câmara de Viação e Transportes da Câmara; see more here. The original text follows.
O Bill 448/2019, presented by deputy Igor Timo (PODE-MG), defines that the companies’ commission must respect a ceiling of 10% on the amount charged for the trip. It also provides that services cannot charge drivers any extra fees.
The proposal is identical to Senate Bill 421/2017, from then senator Lindbergh Farias (PT-RJ). The original text was automatically archived due to the closure of the previous legislature in January 2019.
Because of the similarity of the proposals, the Chamber attached PL 2.255 / 2019, by deputy Pedro Augusto Bezerra (PTB-CE), to Timo’s project. Bezerra’s project limits the commission of companies like Uber, 99 and Cabify to 15%.
The rapporteur in the Committee on Viação e Transportes (CVT), deputy Lucas Gonzales (NOVO-MG), voted for the rejection of the projects because he understands that they go against the interests of passengers. According to him, the government should not interfere in the private relationship between companies and drivers.
“It is this same private nature that characterizes the relationship that promotes competition between service providers, providing differentiated options for prices and services to the user,” he said. For him, the project prevents “the freedom to offer services and, consequently, the freedom of choice on the part of the user”.
The project has yet to be approved by CVT members. After that, he will be taken to the Commission for Economic Development, Industry, Trade and Services and, subsequently, to the Commission for Constitution and Justice and Citizenship.
The positioning of companies
Sought by Tecnoblog, Uber said the project interferes with the companies’ business model and violates the constitutional principles of free enterprise and free enterprise. “Flexibility and competition are the bases of this activity and it is precisely the freedom of engagement, pacification and variety of models that allow the platform to become a reliable alternative for locomotion for all”, says, in a note, the company.
“It is important to note that Federal Law 13,640 / 2018 has already regulated the service, and a recent decision by the Federal Supreme Court ratified the points established by it,” he continues. “Uber is following the debate on the project and remains, as it always has been, at the disposal of the public authorities to dialogue and build ways to use the platform’s technology for the good of cities and people”.
99 stated that the project is unconstitutional “as it makes competition impossible and sets prices”. The company also states that it “goes against efforts to improve the business environment in Brazil, restricting innovation and economic freedom”.
“The activity of individual paid transportation by applications has already been regulated by federal law and follows the understanding of the Supreme Federal Court, based precisely on the principles of free competition and initiative”, he observes. “It is important to note that the partner driver is paid for the mileage traveled and travel time”.
Cabify, in turn, says that it maintains a dialogue with the public authorities of the cities in which it operates and that it considers the regulation of transport applications necessary and legitimate to balance the growing demand for mobility alternatives in large metropolises, “provided that laws do not affect the operation of platforms operating in this segment ”.
“The company is aware of PL 448/2019 and is attentive to the movements and procedures related to the remuneration of the parties involved, in order to defend the interests of its partner drivers, users and technological intermediation by application”, he says.
Cabify also says that the limitation may “imply additional costs to the user, by casting the market model of applications”. The text, according to the company, “disregards other agents involved in the ecosystem, such as users and the platforms themselves”.
“Cabify reinforces that it values the balance of relationships and the culture of dialogue and transparency, in order to offer a fair and accessible service for all, and congratulates the Commission on Transportation and Transport for the rejection of the project”.
Updated with the positioning of companies.