Uber Taxi App Rival 'Made 13,000 Fake Bookings'
Google-backed taxi app Uber says employees of a rival firm have booked then cancelled almost 13,000 trips to disrupt its business.
It was hitting back at a claim by Lyft that Uber drivers and staff had hailed and cancelled more than 5,000 rides.
Lyft said it had identified 177 Uber employees responsible for the apparent sabotage attempt, and a number of short rides booked in an attempt to lure Lyft employees away to Uber.
But Uber denied the claims and accused Lyft of using "questionable tactics" - saying that 13,000 cancelled bookings were made by Lyft employees, including a co-founder.
It also claims that Lyft investors have been pushing Uber to buy Lyft, warning that the firm would "go nuclear" if its wishes were not fulfilled.
A spokesman said: "Lyft's claims against Uber are baseless and simply untrue.
"Furthermore, Lyft's own drivers and employees, including one of Lyft's founders, have cancelled 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."
Lyft said the allegations were false and that the firm was enjoying large month-on-month growth.
Uber and Lyft do not employ drivers; instead they use smartphone apps to match those looking for a taxi with available drivers signed up to their services.
Uber is currently valued at more than $10bn (£6bn).