Italy bans use of Uber′s services amid growing frustration | News | DW | 08.04.2017
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Italy bans use of Uber's services amid growing frustration

An Italian court has ruled against the ride-hailing group, giving it 10 days to cease operations in the country. But Uber has vowed to appeal despite growing resentment from Italy's highly-regulated taxi industry.

A court in Rome on Friday banned the use of smartphone apps for Uber, a ride-hailing group, saying it contributes to unfair competition for traditional taxis.

The court upheld a legal complaint submitted by taxi unions, giving Uber 10 days to end the use of its smartphone apps along with advertising linked to its services in Italy.

If the San Franscisco-based company fails to comply to the court order, it could face a fine of 10,000 euros ($10,590) each and every day it remains in defiance.

Uber said in a statement that it will appeal the order and seek a suspension of the ruling.

"We do not want to think that a country like Italy is not yet ready for a reality like ours," the company said. "We will work endlessly to allow thousands of professional drivers to continue working through the Uber app and simultaneously enable all citizens to be able to freely choose now to navigate."

Italian taxi drivers have staged nationwide protests against a government proposal that they say would legitimize Uber and undermine their livelihood

Italian taxi drivers have staged nationwide protests against a government proposal that they say would legitimize Uber and undermine their livelihood

'Savage liberalization'

Since Uber's inception in Italy, the company has faced resistance from taxi unions, which have called the company's operations a "savage liberalization" of the sector.

A day before the ruling, taxi drivers protested in the nation's capital against a government proposal to regulate the digital ride-hailing industry that would establish a national registry for non-licensed drivers using an app to pick up passengers.

In Italy, cities issue a set number of taxi licenses annually, which can cost up to 200,000 euros ($212,000), forcing drivers to stay on the road for years to pay it off.

In 2015, a Milan court banned the company's UberPop application for encouraging taxi services by unlicensed drivers.

Several other European countries have also banned Uber's services, including Germany. A Frankfurt court in 2015 banned Uber from running services using unlicensed taxi drivers.

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ls/jm (dpa, AFP, ANSA)

 

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