Uber Files: Lobbyist drew a blank in contacts with Mobility Minister, says Sven Gatz

Uber Files: Lobbyist drew a blank in contacts with Mobility Minister, says Sven Gatz
Credit: Belga

As the controversy over the Uber Files leak continued to generate intense media attention, Brussels Finance Minister Sven Gatz weighed in on the issue on Friday.

Gatz said his formation, the Open Vld, was not in favour of setting up a parliamentary commission of inquiry into Uber Files in Brussels. It was up to the Justice Department to make Uber face up to its responsibilities, he said.

Asked on the Bx1 news channels “Toujours + d’actu” programme about relations between former Mobility Minister Pascal Smet and ex-Uber senior lobbyist Mark MacGann, Gatz observed that the approach by the multinational ride-hailing service had been unsuccessful.

“They exchanged messages via Whatsapp, but there was not much result,” he said. “At the time when these relations were, let’s say quite intense, the lobbying did not succeed.”

The ties between Uber officials and senior governmental and intergovernmental personalities in various capitals have been in the spotlight in recent days following the publication on 10 July of files contained in a database of Uber’s activities that was leaked to the Guardian newspaper by MacGann.

The Uber Files, which were shared with The International Consortium of investigative journalists and other media outlets, show that Uber executives held dozens of meetings over the years with public officials and representatives of European institutions with a view to deflecting criticism, influencing legislation, and obtaining favourable treatment from governments and regulators.

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