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Uber has been deemed “unfair competition” and is barred from operating in Italy, a Rome judge ruled Friday.
The company is not able to use its Black, Lux, Suv, X , XL, Select, and Van cars in the country, nor is it allowed to advertise its services.
Conflict between Uber and Italian taxi services turned legal in 2015, when locals argued that they are unable to compete with the app.
“This is the fourth ruling by an Italian judge that ascertains Uber’s unfair competition,” lawyers for Italy’s top taxi association said in a statement to Corriere della Sera. “[It’s] the latest battle in a legal war that began in 2015 to stop the most striking form of unfair competition ever registered on the Italian local public transportation market.”
The main argument was that though Uber is a transportation company, it does not abide by transportation laws. Whereas as taxi associations’ rates are determined by the transportation authority, Uber has been functioning on its own terms — leaving locals unable to compete with its pricing.
The main argument was that though Uber is a transportation company, it does not abide by transportation laws
The company has made it clear it will be appealing the ruling, but it only has 10 days to do so. If it takes any longer, the company will be paying a fine of €10 000 every day it operates in the country illegally.
Uber: taxi unrest across the world
This ban comes a month after South African taxi drivers protested Uber’s presence in the country by blocking off highways in Johannesburg. Drivers complained the app was stealing their business.
On top of the ban, the company has been met by many a public relations disaster in the past few months. CEO Travis Kalanick was criticised for his position on US President Trump’s executive board, and has since pulled out. A former engineer detailed the institutional sexism at the company. Kalanick was further criticised for losing his temper with a driver. And The New York Times revealed last week that the company psychologically manipulates its drivers.
Featured image: Claire Y. Martin via Flickr (CC 2.0, resized)