Success does not usually go unnoticed. If you provide a superior product, or service you want people to take note. Indeed, the free market is driven by the competitive entrepreneurial spirit of hardworking innovative individuals and small business owners are constantly striving to improve their products and services.
Unfortunately, sometimes government gets involved. In some cases burdensome regulations make it harder for businesses to grow and to innovate. But, it is particularly frustrating when you have developed a successful business strategy and government responds by threatening to impose new regulations to hamper your success.
That is exactly what is happening to one small business, which has recently drawn the ire of certain political figures in the District of Columbia. Uber has found success competing with traditional taxi cab services in several major cities by giving customers the opportunity to request service from their smartphones. They have developed an application which allows the customer to see how long it will take for an Uber driver to arrive, and which allows the customer to give instant feedback to the company as to how they enjoyed the service. Uber has gained a reputation for professional service, and customers seem to enjoy the option of taking luxury sedans and SUVs, even if they pay a little more than they would for a traditional taxi service. But, this success has some on the D.C. City Council up in arms, with one councilman explicitly calling for regulation to slow this company down.
As a policy matter, it seems inappropriate to punish a business for its success. But, as a legal matter, there may be problems with any plan to enact regulations targeted at a specific business. Additionally, if the only purpose of a regulation is to protect a government-backed industry from innovative entrepreneurial competition, there may be other legal problems as well.