According to court documents unsealed this week, Uber is suing five mobile ad-tech companies—along with roughly 100 unnamed third parties that they worked with—in addition to its agency partner.This update alleges that the additional companies were collectively paid $70 million to buy out ad space for Uber that turned out, upon review, to be inventory that was “nonexistent, non-viewable, or fraudulent” and purchased deliberately.
According to the document, Uber was deliberately kept out of the loop regarding the true nature of where its ads were running.
These John Does are “presently unknown to Uber,” according to the suit, “and Uber will seek leave of court to amend this complaint to allege such names and capacities as soon as they are ascertained.”
The new suit alleges the defendants engaged in a number of fraudulent practices including “deceptive naming,” “missing device IDs,” “SDK outliers,” and “non-mobile optimized sites” that contributed to inflated click estimates vs. actual app users.
Citing an example generated by YouAppi, the suit illustrates how the “number of daily reported clicks on Uber advertisements” exceeded the “number of daily active users (DAU) of those apps.”
What transpired, according to the latest documents, was that Fetch passed the media-buying duties onto these five companies, who took credit for hundreds of thousands—possibly millions—of installs that they didn’t deserve, by faking clicks, faking app installations or both.