With a bag already full of various controversies, Uber now has another trouble to worry about in its busy professional life. The ride-hailing giant has been banned from operating its Italy after a local judge ruled in favor of the lawsuit filed by local taxi associations, reports Reuters.
This is the latest roadblock in Uber’s operations in the European countries and has been applied for their services acting as an unfair competition against local operators. This case was filed back in December by the taxi associations and follows pursuit to its recently lost regulatory battles in other European countries such as Germany, France, and Denmark. The company has even faced pushback over its UberPOOL services from authorities in India as well.
As for the current lawsuit, Uber has been instructed to stop promoting (market) its ride-hailing services and operating in the country within the next ten days. Further, if the company fails to comply with the said ruling, the judge announced that it will have to shell out 10,000 euros ($10,600) fine for each day it remains operational after that said period.
Thus, the court in Rome has pronounced that Uber is currently banned from using its Black, Lux, Suv, X, XL, Select, and Van phone applications in Italy. So, commuting to work could again become a chore for you Italians. But, ordering your favorite cuisines (or the recently prepared Pasta) will continue to remain simple as its UberEATS food delivery service remains unaffected. This was clearly a win for local taxi operators and they told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera:
This is the fourth ruling by an Italian judge that ascertains Uber’s unfair competition, 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.
Uber is ‘shocked’ by the court’s decision in favor of the local taxi drivers, even though they’re providing them an intuitive platform to earn their livelihood. The ride-hailing giant will appeal the court’s decision and push the government to finally make a decision if they want to be bogged down by millennia-old transportation rules or work on restructuring them to pave way for technology. Continuing to talk on the same, an Uber spokesperson said in a statement:
Thousands of professional, licensed drivers use the Uber app to make money and provide reliable transportation at the push of a button for Italians.
Though the ban against the cab aggregator’s services is significant, however, it can be seen as least of Uber’s troubles at the moment as the company is knee-deep in other controversies (as we mentioned above). The ride-hailing giant was recently outed for harbouring a bro work culture or rather a toxic one, which involves sexual harassment and misogyny against female employees. This has led many executives to depart the company due to cultural differences, including their recently appointed President Jeff Jones.
Additionally, Uber is currently also caught up in a legal battle against Google’s self-driving division Waymo. The former is accused of stealing the latter’s technology, which has been brought in by former Googler Anthony Levandowski and others and using the same to build their LiDAR technology. The two are currently embroiled in a battle and Uber is thoroughly searching for the 14,000 documents it has been alleged of infringing upon. It has, however, accepted in court that its autonomous driving tech is way behind Waymo’s, the same was ousted in a report earlier last month.