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   Technology StocksUber Technologies and Lyft Inc. IPOs


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From: TimF5/11/2021 5:58:28 PM
   of 238
 
Did Ride Hailing Increase Congestion?
By The Antiplanner | April 29, 2021 | Transportation

“A new MIT study found that not only do rideshares increase congestion, but they also made traffic jams longer, led to a significant decline in people taking public transit, and haven’t really impacted car ownership,” reports Gizmodo. As noted here previously, transit advocates blame ride hailing for all sorts of problems in order to justify taxes and other restrictions to limit competition.

The new study from MIT is frankly unpersuasive. First of all, it says very little about the methodology used to come up with its results: page 1 of the study is an introduction and page 2 immediately begins to present the results. It appears the writers compared data in 44 urban areas before and after the introduction of ride hailing into those areas between 2012 and 2016.

Second, the writers appear to have made no effort to correct for or even consider any other variables. Although Uber began operating in San Francisco in 2010, ride hailing didn’t really begin growing until 2014. But the other thing that happened in 2014 was a huge drop in gasoline prices — prices fell by 50 percent in some areas. This isn’t even mentioned in the paper even though that drop could have most of the same effects the paper attributes to ride hailing.

Third, a fact not mentioned in many of the press reports about the paper, the writers conclude that ride hailing increased congestion by 0.9 percent. Less than 1 percent! That’s smaller than the margin of error of much of the data used in the paper.

Fourth, the paper also blames an 8.9 percent drop in transit ridership on ride hailing. If ride hailing had reduced transit ridership by that much, we should be grateful that someone is substituting for-profit transportation that goes where people want when they want to go for money-losing transportation that only goes to a limited number of destinations on rigid schedules. However, that drop, which in most areas began in 2014, is due more to the decline in gas prices than to ride hailing.

If this study weren’t from MIT, I would call this junk science. Maybe it should be called that anyway because its results aren’t replicable (since the methodology isn’t explicitly described) and it failed to account for alternative explanations of the changes it observed.

ti.org

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To: TimF who wrote (205)5/11/2021 8:13:22 PM
From: Kirk ©
   of 238
 
All I know is it has sure been nice this past year to not have the damned Uber and Lyft drivers clog the roads looking at maps at stop signals that turn green then stopping in no stopping zones and blocking traffic. The roads are much safer without this lawbreaking activity.

The worst that I miss the least is them driving very slow so they can arrive on time and not have to go around a very long block to catch rides at the expensive apartments nearby that Facebarf, Giggle and Stanford use for short term rentals of highly paid visiting workers.

I don't think I've honked my horn at one of those law breaking jackasses in over a year.

They are GREAT for delivering food and packages where they don't block traffic and the people at the destination are waiting for them so they have incentive to go faster so they can maybe get an extra delivery in their day.

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From: Glenn Petersen6/11/2021 12:59:08 PM
   of 238
 
Do the math.

Didi didn’t disclose the size of its raise. Reuters reported the company could raise around $10 billion at a valuation of close to $100 billion, though The Wall Street Journal cited a valuation upward of $70 billion. Uber’s market cap currently exceeds $90 billion.

Cheng Wei, Didi’s 38-year-old founder owns 7% of the company’s shares and controls 15.4% of its voting power before the IPO, according to the prospectus. Major shareholders to reap returns are SoftBank Vision Fund, which owns 21.5% of the company, Uber with 12.8% and Tencent at 6.8%.

------------------------------

SoftBank, Uber, Tencent set to reap rewards from Didi IPO

Rita Liao @ritacyliao
TechCrunch
8:08 PM CDT•June 10, 2021

After years of speculation, Didi Chuxing, China’s ride-sharing behemoth, finally unveiled its IPO filing in the U.S., giving a glimpse into its money-losing history.

Didi didn’t disclose the size of its raise. Reuters reported the company could raise around $10 billion at a valuation of close to $100 billion, though The Wall Street Journal cited a valuation upward of $70 billion. Uber’s market cap currently exceeds $90 billion.

Cheng Wei, Didi’s 38-year-old founder owns 7% of the company’s shares and controls 15.4% of its voting power before the IPO, according to the prospectus. Major shareholders to reap returns are SoftBank Vision Fund, which owns 21.5% of the company, Uber with 12.8% and Tencent at 6.8%.

The nine-year-old company, which famously acquired Uber’s China operations in 2016, is more than a ride-hailing platform now. It has a growing line of businesses like bike-sharing, grocery, intra-city freight, financial services for drivers, electric vehicles and Level 4 robotaxis, which it defines as “the pinnacle of our design for future mobility” for its potential to lower costs and improve safety.

Didi set up an autonomous driving subsidiary that banked $500 million from SoftBank’s second Vision Fund in May last year. The unit now operates a team of over 500 members and a fleet of over 100 autonomous vehicles. It’s also designing EVs for ride-hailing as China pushes taxis and ride sharing companies to phase out fossil fuel vehicles.

Market dominance

For the twelve months ended March, Didi served 493 million annual active users and saw 41 million transactions on a daily basis. It had 156 million monthly users in Q1, well above Uber’s 98 million in the period.

China’s official data showed the country had 365 million ride hailing users as of December, which suggests Didi commands a substantial market share.

Mobility services in China have consistently accounted for over 90% of Didi’s revenues. The company has tried to expand its presence in a dozen overseas countries like Brazil, where it bought local ride-hailing business 99 Taxis. And more than 97% of Didi’s China-based mobility revenues — which also include taxi hailing, chauffeur and carpooling, a lucrative business that was revamped following two deadly accidents — came from ride-hailing between 2018 and 2020.



Third-party data also speaks to Didi’s dominance. Aurora Mobile, an app tracking firm, showed that Didi had 77.6 million active users in March. Its closest rival Geely-backed Caocao was less than one-tenth of its size.

Didi had been operating in the red from 2018 to 2020, when it finished the year with a $1.6 billion net loss, but managed to turn the tide in the first quarter of 2021 by racking up a net profit of $837 million. It noted that the increased profit was primarily due to investment income from the deconsolidation of Chengxin, its cash-burning grocery group buying initiative, and an equity investment disposal.

Revenue from Q1 also more than doubled year-over-year to $6.6 billion. Uber, in comparison, racked up $2.9 billion in revenue for the period.

Didi plans to spend 30% of its IPO proceeds on shared mobility, electric vehicles, autonomous driving and other technologies. 30% will go towards its international expansion and another 20% will be used for new product development.

SoftBank, Uber, Tencent set to reap rewards from Didi IPO | TechCrunch

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From: Glenn Petersen7/22/2021 9:28:14 AM
   of 238
 
Uber to buy transportation logistics company Transplace in $2.25 billion deal

PUBLISHED THU, JUL 22 20219:00 AM EDTUPDATED 8 MIN AGO
Jessica Bursztynsky @JBURSZ
CNBC.com

KEY POINTS

-- Uber Freight, the rideshare company’s trucking division, said Thursday it’s acquiring Transplace in a deal that values the transportation logistics company at $2.25 billion.

-- Uber Freight will acquire Transplace from TPG Capital, the private equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG.

-- The deal consists of of up to $750 million in common stock of Uber and the remainder in cash.

Uber Freight, the rideshare company’s trucking division, said Thursday it’s acquiring Transplace in a deal that values the transportation logistics company at $2.25 billion.

Uber shares dipped slightly in premarket trading.

Uber Freight will acquire Transplace from TPG Capital, the private equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG that acquired Transplace in 2017. The deal consists of of up to $750 million in common stock of Uber and the remainder in cash.

It’s a rare move for Uber, which has spent the last year shedding its profit-eating self-driving unit and flying taxi segment. Instead, Uber has been choosing to pour billions into strengthening its Uber Eats segment, acquiring alcohol delivery company Drizly and food delivery service Postmates.

The deal, the companies said, will create one of the leading logistics technology platforms. The companies said the acquisition comes at a time of accelerated transformation in logistics.

“The demands of a volatile market and the increasing complexity of globalized logistics are clashing with industrial-age transportation technology,” the company said. “In the midst of capacity constraints and escalating transportation costs, shippers are adapting their operations at an increasing pace and looking for technology, support, and solutions that can modernize their supply chain and keep critical goods, and the economy, moving.”

The deal is expected to help Uber’s trucking division reach profitability. The company said it could help the segment break even on an adjusted EBITDA basis by the end of 2022.

The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.

Uber to buy transportation logistics company Transplace in $2.25 billion deal (cnbc.com)

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From: Glenn Petersen8/4/2021 5:33:44 PM
   of 238
 
Uber beats estimates, but core business lost $509 million in Q2

PUBLISHED WED, AUG 4 20214:05 PM EDT
UPDATED 8 MIN AGO
Jessica Bursztynsky @JBURSZ
CNBC.com

KEY POINTS

-- Uber beat on both the top and bottom lines in its second quarter earnings report Wednesday.

-- The company reported a net income of $1.1 billion for the quarter.

-- It also reaffirmed its expectation to reach profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis by the end of this year.

Uber beat estimates on the top and bottom line and turned an unexpected one-time profit during the second quarter.

Shares dipped more than 4% in after hours trading.

Here’s how Uber did versus expectations:

Earnings per share: 58 cents vs an expected 51 cent loss, according to a consensus of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.


Revenue: $3.93 billion vs $3.75 billion expected, according to Refinitiv.

Uber reported a net income of $1.1 billion for the quarter. That was largely due to unrealized gains of $1.4 billion in Didi and $471 million in Aurora. Shares of Didi have dropped about 37% over the last month, however, shrinking Uber’s stake in the company down by $2 billion last week. Uber’s operating loss was still $1.19 billion.

Its adjusted EBITDA loss was $509 million, down $150 million from the prior quarter but an improvement of $328 million from last year. EBITDA refers to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Uber reaffirmed its expectation to reach profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis by the end of this year.

“As we make progress towards that important milestone, we expect our Adjusted EBITDA loss in Q3 to improve to less than $100 million in addition to record Gross Bookings between $22 and $24 billion,” CFO Nelson Chai said in a letter to investors.

So far, Uber’s Eats segment has bolstered the company to withstand many of the Covid headwinds. When people stopped traveling, they turned to food and goods deliveries. Uber added that its delivery business stayed strong even as Covid restrictions eased around the world.

Here’s how Uber’s largest business segments performed in the second quarter of 2021:

Mobility (gross bookings): $8.6 billion, up 184% from a year ago


Delivery (gross bookings): $12.9 billion, up 85% from a year ago

Delivery revenue has continued to outperform its core ride-hailing business at $1.96 billion, compared with $1.62 billion. In an update to shareholders, the company said that delivery merchants exceeded 750,000.

The company has struggled with supply and demand imbalances because of the pandemic, leading to surge pricing and increased wait times. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on the company’s call with investors that prices and wait times are still not at its targets.

“In Q2 we invested in recovery by investing in drivers and we made strong progress, with monthly active drivers and couriers in the US increasing by nearly 420,000 from February to July,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement.

The company did not provide an exact number of drivers, but Khosrowshahi said he was optimistic with growth rates after the company made heavy investments into bringing people back. The company added 30% more drivers in the U.S. from June to July.

“The good news is we’re now in a good place where we’re able to pull those investments back,” Khosrowshahi said. “The investments were big, but the investments were worth it.”

Uber reported 1.51 billion trips on the platform, up 4% from the first quarter and 105% from a year ago. Uber said its drivers and couriers earned an aggregate $7.9 billion during the quarter.

Uber’s largest American competitor, Lyft, also shared financial results this week. The company reported its first quarterly adjusted EBITDA profit, posting $23.8 million, a quarter earlier than expected. It also beat Wall Street guidance on both the top and bottom lines.

This is a developing story. Please refresh for updates.

Uber earnings Q2 2021 (cnbc.com)

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (209)8/4/2021 6:25:02 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 238
 
Lyft revenue grows 125% from last year

PUBLISHED TUE, AUG 3 20214:08 PM EDT
UPDATED TUE, AUG 3 20215:36 PM EDT
Jessica Bursztynsky @JBURSZ
CNBC.com

KEY POINTS

-- Lyft reported second-quarter financial results after-the-bell Tuesday, easily beating on both the top and bottom lines.

-- The company reported its first quarterly adjusted EBITDA profit, posting $23.8 million.

-- Lyft also beat analyst’s active rider expectations.

Lyft reported second-quarter earnings on Tuesday, easily beating on both the top and bottom lines. The company also beat Wall Street expectations for active riders.

Lyft stock was up around 1% in after-hours trading.

Here are the key numbers:

Loss per share: 5 cents vs 24 cents per share expected in a Refinitiv survey of analysts


Revenue: $765 million vs $696.9 million expected by Refinitiv


Active riders: 17.14 million vs 15.45 million expected, per StreetAccount


Revenue per active rider: $44.63 vs $45.36 expected, per StreetAccount

The company reported its first quarterly adjusted EBITDA profit, posting $23.8 million. That’s a quarter earlier than the company had targeted. EBITDA refers to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

“It’s a significant milestone for a business and for our industry,” CEO Logan Green said on the company’s earnings call. “Going forward we expect to maintain adjusted EBITDA profitability.”

Lyft said its revenue for the quarter jumped 125% year-over-year to $765 million. Revenue was up 26% from the prior quarter. Lyft also issued guidance for its third quarter, telling investors it expects revenue between $850 million and $860 million, barring a material decline in the operating landscape due to the pandemic.

The company said it saw strong demand from riders in July despite an increase in Covid case counts. Lyft reported 17.14 million active riders, up more than 3.6 million riders from the first quarter. Still, the company hasn’t fully recovered to pre-pandemic ridership levels. It reported 21.2 million riders in the first quarter of 2020.

The company has struggled with driver supply and demand imbalances, leading to surge pricing and increased wait times. That, in turn, leads to unhappy customers who could seek out ride services somewhere else.

Green said the number of drivers increased in the second quarter at a faster pace than in the first quarter. He added the company will continue to invest in driver incentives in the coming quarter.

Lyft reported a net loss for the quarter of $251.9 million versus a net loss of $437.1 million in the same period of 2020. The company said its net loss includes $207.8 million of stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses. Its net loss margin for the quarter was 32.9% compared to 128.8% in the same quarter a year ago.

The company reported $2.2 billion in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, flat from the prior quarter.

Lyft earnings Q2 2021 (cnbc.com)

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From: Glenn Petersen8/8/2021 5:17:07 PM
   of 238
 
Uber, Lyft Prices at Records Even as Drivers Return

Data show average fares were at a record in July despite improvement in pandemic-driven shortage of drivers

By Preetika Rana
Wall Street Journal
Aug. 7, 2021 8:00 am ET

Drivers are returning to Uber Technologies Inc. UBER 2.81% and Lyft Inc. LYFT 0.04% after the companies spent big on incentives to address a pandemic-driven labor shortage. That shift isn’t bringing down fares from record highs, new data show.

The average Uber and Lyft fare in the U.S. rose month-to-month from February through July, touching new highs every time, according to data from Rakuten Intelligence, a market-research firm that based its analysis on e-receipts from more than one million consumers. While the average fare in July edged up slightly from June, it meant consumers paid over 50% more for a ride last month compared with January 2020, before the pandemic.

That’s the most Americans have paid for Uber and Lyft rides in at least three years, according to Rakuten.

The sky-high prices, which the companies say are driven by the continuing labor shortage, come despite a recent influx of drivers. Uber said Wednesday that 30% more drivers signed up in July compared with the month before. Lyft said Tuesday that 50% more drivers signed up in the three-month period that ended in June compared with the preceding three months.

“The data is clear: Driver supply has not kept pace with the surge of demand from riders, throwing the ride-share market out of balance,” a Lyft spokeswoman said, adding that the company would continue to invest in driver incentives to ease the shortage.

Soaring prices haven’t crimped bookings, reflecting consumers’ tolerance for high prices after widespread lockdowns kept many at home last year. Uber and Lyft’s ride business rebounded in the second quarter from the lows of last year, and data from Edison Trends show that consumer spending on ride-hailing remained elevated for the week ended July 19 compared with the same week a year earlier.

The Covid-19 Delta variant “might hurt everything again, but this time things will bounce back a lot faster,” said Brad Erickson, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets who covers both companies. “Bookings aren’t going to go down 90%. It’s not going to be anywhere close to the magnitude of last year,” he said.

Neither company has publicly disclosed how ride prices have fared nationwide in recent months. Nor have they said how many more drivers are needed to meet demand. But Uber said this week that prices were returning to pre-Covid levels in cities or states that had ended unemployment benefits. That shift pushed more drivers to work for Uber in cities like Miami, Atlanta and Houston, alleviating the continuing labor crunch and tempering high prices, executives said.

In New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles—Uber’s top domestic markets—“demand continues to outplay supply, and prices and wait times remain above our comfort levels,” Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi told analysts Wednesday after the company reported quarterly results.

An Uber spokesman reiterated that the situation varies city-by-city. In some, he said, prices are inching closer to pre-pandemic levels, while they continue to remain high in others.

Early signs point to the driver shortage and high prices abating at the end of the current quarter next month, as Lyft continues to offer bonuses to drivers and as other states phase out unemployment benefits. Uber said 90% of the 90,000 inactive drivers it surveyed in June indicated they planned to return by September.

Uber and Lyft’s elevated spending on driver incentives, combined with the uncertainty around the looming Delta variant, sent their stocks tumbling earlier in the week even though they beat analysts’ second-quarter demand projections. Both stocks recovered from their lows this past week.

In the extreme scenario that demand tapers off and drivers shun ride-share all over again, “it will make a lot of this investment the companies have just done irrelevant,” said RBC’s Mr. Erickson. Uber and Lyft have the muscle to pump in the money again, but it’ll translate to “a lot of lost dollars.”

Lyft said its third-quarter revenue would take a hit as it planned to spend more on driver incentives, after spending $572 million on them through the second quarter. “We are maintaining elevated supply investments to help lower prices,” Lyft Chief Financial Officer Brian Roberts told analysts on Tuesday. Mr. Roberts said he didn’t think prices would remain this high in the long run.

Uber spent more on incentives than analysts had expected in the second quarter. The company said it doesn’t plan to spend significantly more on them in the current quarter because it has been acquiring drivers in recent weeks despite pulling back on incentives.

As Uber and Lyft eye long-term profits, analysts say consumers should expect to pay more per ride compared with the discounted rates before the pandemic. But analysts also don’t think prices will stay at their current heights.

Drivers’ earnings are at an all-time high, thanks to the continuing bonuses. Uber said its drivers are making more than $40 an hour in its busiest markets. But a near-term challenge is retaining them once the incentives go away.

Derrick Stanfield Kivoi, who runs a small digital marketing business in Miami and has driven for Uber on the side for several years, took to driving again this year after a year-long hiatus because the incentives were too good to turn down. Uber offered him $100 for three consecutive rides, he said, and then followed with a $250 bonus for 40 rides completed during the weekday.

The bonuses tapered off in recent weeks—Uber’s $250 bonus dropped to $50—and Mr. Kivoi turned off the app earlier this week. “As soon as the incentives stop, I’m stopping,” he said.

Uber and Lyft are trying to address the shifting dynamics of gig labor. Uber announced free online language classes for drivers late last month. It also started showing drivers what passengers paid for a ride overall, instead of showing them only the fare portion.

Lyft said last month it was exploring a partnership to trim one of drivers’ biggest expenses, which could involve sizable discounts on gas or insurance or help with buying vehicles.

Write to Preetika Rana at preetika.rana@wsj.com

Uber, Lyft Prices at Records Even as Drivers Return - WSJ

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From: Glenn Petersen8/21/2021 10:47:18 AM
   of 238
 
California Ballot Measure That Classifies Uber, Lyft Drivers as Independent Ruled Unconstitutional

Proposition 22, which passed in November, was the most expensive such measure in the state’s history

By Preetika Rana
Wall Street Journal
Updated Aug. 20, 2021 11:58 pm ET

A California judge said the November ballot measure that allowed Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc. LYFT -1.92% and DoorDash Inc. DASH 1.11% to continue treating their drivers as independent contractors is unenforceable and unconstitutional.

The companies, which spent more than $200 million to pass Proposition 22 in November, said they would appeal the ruling.

Read the Decision

The companies don’t need to immediately change their way of doing business, but Friday’s ruling adds a wrinkle in their efforts to preserve their independent-worker models and serves as a setback in their yearslong fight against the California law at the heart of the ruling.

Uber and other companies are in a global tug of war with regulators over whether and how to grant more benefits like paid sick leave and health insurance to workers in the so-called gig economy, where apps distribute individual tasks to a pool of people who are generally regarded as independent contractors.

California sued the companies last year, saying they were in violation of the state’s so-called gig law because none of them reclassified their drivers as employees after the statute went into effect in 2020. A high-stakes legal battle ensued, culminating in Proposition 22, in which the companies asked state voters to exempt them from the law.

Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart Inc. promised workers flexibility, alongside some benefits, if the ballot measure passed. Opponents of the measure said those benefits fall short of those awarded to full-time employees. Still, California voters passed the measure with an overwhelming majority.

Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch said in Friday’s ruling that Proposition 22 limits the state legislature’s authority and its ability to pass future legislation, which is unconstitutional.

“We believe the judge made a serious error by ignoring a century’s worth of case law requiring the courts to guard the voters’ right of initiative,” said Geoff Vetter, a spokesman for the companies’ Proposition 22 campaign. “This outrageous decision is an affront to the overwhelming majority of California voters.”

Friday’s ruling came after a group of ride-share drivers and labor unions challenged the constitutionality of the ballot measure in February.

“Today’s ruling by Judge Roesch striking down Proposition 22 couldn’t be clearer: The gig industry-funded ballot initiative was unconstitutional and is therefore unenforceable,” said Bob Schoonover, the president of SEIU California State Council, one of the labor unions involved in the lawsuit. The companies “tried to boost their profits by undermining democracy and the state constitution,” he added.

Proposition 22 was the most expensive ballot measure in the history of California. It allowed the ride-hailing and delivery companies to avoid complying with a law that could have reshaped their business models and battered their business in the most populous U.S. state. But the effort to win popular support did lead the companies to guarantee new protections.

The companies now offer health insurance for drivers who work 15 hours or more a week, occupational-accident insurance coverage and 30 cents for every mile driven, among other protections.

The win in California set the tone for gig-worker regulation in the rest of the country. Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart have joined forces for a Proposition 22-like ballot in Massachusetts next year.

Uber, which has a larger global footprint, has had to make concessions outside the U.S. It agreed to grant its U.K. drivers an employment status entitling them to vacation pay and pension contributions after exhausting its legal options in March.

California Ballot Measure That Classifies Uber, Lyft Drivers as Independent Ruled Unconstitutional - WSJ

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (212)8/23/2021 6:29:39 PM
From: TimF
   of 238
 
Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch said in Friday’s ruling that Proposition 22 limits the state legislature’s authority and its ability to pass future legislation, which is unconstitutional.
That's the point of a lot of CA's propositions. Are all the others going to be struck down? Probably not.

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To: TimF who wrote (213)8/23/2021 6:53:01 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 238
 
Uber and Lyft actually closed up for the day. The smart money is betting that the ruling will be overturned.

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