(Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc.agreed to pay $20 million to settle a U.S. Federal Trade Commission lawsuit over drivercompensation claims and its auto leasing program.


The FTC sued the San Francisco-based ride-hailing startup, sayingUber made false, misleading or unsubstantiated claims about howmuch drivers could earn on the service. The agency alleged Ubermade similar misrepresentations about its vehicle financingprogram.

In its complaint, the FTC said Uber’s practices “have caused itsdrivers to suffer millions of dollars of injury.” Uber didn’t admitto or deny wrongdoing in its settlement.

“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with the FTC,” MattKallman, an Uber spokesman, wrote in an emailed statement. “We’vemade many improvements to the driver experience over the last yearand will continue to focus on ensuring that Uber is the best optionfor anyone looking to earn money on their own schedule.”

Contractors vs. employees

With a valuation of $69 billion and a presence in almost everycountry, Uber has helped define what’s become known as the gigeconomy, in which smartphone owners work as contractors rather thanfull-time employees. Uber advocates for the flexibility of thisarrangement, saying drivers can set their own hours and work for asmuch or as little as they’d like.

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