Uber: Lyft Said It'd Go 'Nuclear' If We Didn't Acquire Them

Uber and Lyft are battling to win the on-demand car service space, and it isn’t pretty.

Earlier, Lyft accused Uber’s staff of hailing then canceling thousands of rides, causing its drivers time, money and strife. Now an Uber spokesperson tells The New York Times’ Mike Isaac that the only reason Lyft is making these accusations is because Uber is refusing to acquire it.

When reached for comment, an Uber spokesperson gave Business Insider the same statement given to NYT. We’ve bolded the most damning part of the statement:

Lyft’s claims against Uber are baseless and simply untrue. Furthermore, Lyft’s own drivers and employees, including one of Lyft’s founders, have canceled 12,900 trips on Uber. But instead of providing the long list of questionable tactics that Lyft has used over the years, we are focusing on building and maintaining the best platform for both consumers and drivers.

These attacks from Lyft are unfortunate but somewhat expected. A number of Lyft investors have recently been pushing Uber to acquire Lyft. One of their largest shareholders recently warned that Lyft would “go nuclear” if we do not acquire them. We can only assume that the recent Lyft attacks are part of that strategy.

Isaac says the companies have had acquisition talks before, but they aren’t currently moving forward with a deal.

Lyft and Uber have both raised boatloads from investors; Uber’s latest valuation exceeded $10 billion. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has publicly called Lyft’s CEO a “clone” and both companies have scooped each others’ product launches.

During Uber’s last fundraise, Kalanick publicly backhanded the competition: “We do 10 times more trips than them and on a booking basis we’re 20 times bigger,” Kalanick said of Lyft.

He added, “If they have the same amount of funding, we spend faster, so you have to make sure you have a cash advantage.”

Lyft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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