After recent attacks in London, many complained about the prices rising in the vicinity of the attacks:

There is no dispute that Uber prices were elevated in London around the time of the attack, which police say started just after 10 P.M. local time. This is because the company uses a system called “dynamic pricing”, which increases or decreases the price of a journey based on algorithms that analyze the intensity and volume of demand for Uber cars in a given geographical area.

From an oversimplified point of view, if the demand for its services increases very much within a time frame, raising the prices seem like a natural thing to happen as the offer cannot satisfy the demand.

Practically, severely limiting the price does not mean that more clients will get a drive, only that the fastest to book (first-come, first-served). So, all late callers will have a denial of service.

Question: Can Uber be forced to limit or even not use its dynamic pricing algorithm?

  • 1
    Are you asking from a political or a legal point of view?
    – origimbo
    Jun 7, 2017 at 15:06
  • @origimbo - from a political point of view, mostly. Limiting the prices seems like great interference from authorities.
    – Alexei
    Jun 7, 2017 at 15:09
  • 1
    Trivially, yes, it can be done... that is the whole point of the government being able to enact and enforce laws... maybe am I missing something?
    – SJuan76
    Jun 7, 2017 at 15:11
  • @SJuan76 - technically, it is possible, but isn't this against the free market or something similar to do so?
    – Alexei
    Jun 7, 2017 at 15:12
  • 1
    This is isn't a completely free market to begin with. Private vehicle hire in London is already a regulated market for customer service and public safety reasons. tfl.gov.uk/info-for/taxis-and-private-hire/…
    – origimbo
    Jun 7, 2017 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


Due to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, the UK parliament can create laws about pretty much everything, including fixing prices. So theoretically they could do that. Whether or not they should and how such a law could be worded in detail is a question for a more discussion-oriented website.

  • There could be international treaties that prevent them from doing so? EU treaties for example (UK will still be an EU member for the coming ~1.5 years), as well as possibly others.
    – user11249
    Jun 7, 2017 at 16:02

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