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The Uber app Image Credit: Bloomberg

London, San Francisco: Uber’s initial public offering is set to open on Friday as drivers in London and major US cities held a series of strikes on Wednesday to protest the disparity between gig-economy conditions and the sums that investors are likely to make in Friday’s blockbuster stock market debut.

Protests were sparsely attended in London, New York and California, and rides appeared easily available in some cities where strikes were called.

Drivers and regulators around the world have long criticised the business tactics of Uber Technologies Inc.

The expected valuation of up to $90 billion in its initial public offering on Friday is proving to be the latest flashpoint. The ride-hailing company plans to price its public offering at or below the midpoint of its expected price range, people briefed on the matter said Wednesday. Uber had set a range last month of $44 to $50 a share, and at the midpoint — $47 a share — it would be valued at about $86 billion.

Though Uber would still be one of the biggest IPOs of all time, a muted market debut would run counter to the hype that had been building around the company’s offering.