Judge bans Uber taxi service

2014-12-09 18:19
Uber has been under pressure in a number of cities. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Uber has been under pressure in a number of cities. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Madrid - A judge on Tuesday banned the popular US cellphone-based taxi service Uber from operating in Spain, court officials said, following similar attempted moves in several other countries.

Drivers hired for rides via the application "lack the administrative authorisation to carry out the job, and the activity they carry out constitutes unfair competition," the court services said.

The ruling was a "cautionary measure" adopted while the court examines a case brought by the Madrid Taxi Association, the service said in a statement.

The court also ordered telecom companies and payment service providers to block Uber, which calls taxis and processes payments via a mobile telephone application.

Founded in 2009 in California, Uber is best known for its smartphone app that connects passengers with local drivers. Uber charges a commission for each ride.

The company said last week it was valued at $40bn, twice what it was worth six months ago. It is now present in more than 200 cities across 45 countries.

Dutch judges on Monday banned one of Uber's services, UberPOP, from taking bookings via its smartphone app and threatened the company with fines of up to $123 000, saying unlicensed drivers were breaking the law.

A defiant Uber reacted in a statement by saying it "will continue to offer UberPOP."

Rape

Monday's decision "is simply the first step in a long-running judicial battle," the San Francisco-based company added.

A court in Paris is due to decide on Friday whether Uber's services constitute unfair competition to traditional taxi drivers.

Authorities in Denmark and Norway have also filed complaints against Uber.

In Germany, a court in Frankfurt threw out an injunction against Uber in September. Uber was able to resume operating legally in Germany pending a final ruling on a complaint by the taxi federation.

The city government in New Delhi on Monday banned Uber from operating in the Indian capital after a passenger accused one of its drivers of rape.

Read more on:    uber  |  spain  |  online

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