>> The US Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into Uber over its use of software that helps drivers evade local regulators according to two sources familiar with the situation. The so-called Greyball software tool, helped Uber avoid government officials who were trying to clamp down on the ride-sharing service in areas where it had not yet been approved, such as Portland, Oregon.
Reuters tech correspondent, Dan Levine. So the Justice Department here in San Francisco has initiated a criminal investigation of Uber and a grand jury has issued a subpoena to the company for documents about how the Greyball software tool worked and where it was employed. And so what we know about the investigation is that it's an early stage.
It's entirely unclear whether anyone will ultimately be charged in connection with it. But the justice department is taking a close look.>> The New York Times revealed the existence of the software in March, forcing Uber to prohibit the use of Greyball for this purpose shortly thereafter. Uber insists that the program was actually created to check fraudulent ride requests and safeguard drivers.
Thursday's news comes as Uber has been battered by a series of legal and business problems.>> Its had a string of high profile executive departures, including its president, a former female engineer in a blog post, accused the company of maintaining a culture of sexual harassment, which sparked a different internal investigation by the former US attorney.
>> Uber is also fighting a lawsuit by Google's Waymo, which alleges that Uber stole trade secrets for its own self-driving car program.