This year continues to be difficult for the ride-sharing service Uber. Now, the cab-hailing service has been banned effectively in Italy after a Rome judge ruled in the court that the transportation company represented unfair competition for the other taxi services and companies present on the streets.
Uber shocked by the decision, says it will appeal in the court
The ruling – at least for now- means that the apps of the cab-hailing giant can no more be used in the country and the transportation company cannot advertise or promote its services within the borders of the country (Italy). This means that if you are going to Italy anytime soon, do not expect Uber to help you in travelling. Also, the people in Italy will have hard time – at least for now – in getting an Uber for going anywhere.
The cab-hailing service said in a statement that it was quite shocked by the decision. According to reports, the ride-sharing company is planning to start an appeal in the court. However, people visiting or living in Italy would not be able to use the apps of Uber for now and will have to use the traditional way of getting a cab service: waving one’s arm in front of the vehicle.
According to reports by local newspapers, the ride sharing company said the Italian authorities are “anchored in the past.” The reports cited “privileged profits” as one of the reasons why the California-based transportation network company was not being allowed to operate. In the meantime, the lawyers for the taxi services and companies called the cab-hailing service “the most striking form of unfair competition ever registered on the Italian local public transportation market”.
Uber to battle two cases now
The San Francisco-based ride sharing service is – at the same time – battling a legal challenge from the Google parent company Alphabet owned Waymo. According to Waymo, the cab-hailing service stole some of its self-driving vehicle secrets. The ride sharing company has described the claims by Waymo as baseless but the case is still on.
Uber has claimed in the most recent court filings that the LIDAR radar scanning system that its existing vehicles use is an off-the-shelf version from a supplier while it is working on a new model that is completely unrelated to the designs of Waymo.
In a statement, Uber said “We are shocked by the Italian’s court decision and will appeal. Thousands of professional, licensed drivers use the Uber app to make money and provide reliable transportation at the push of a button for Italians.”
According to Guardian, if the ride-hailing company does not comply with the decision of the court, it could face a fine of around 10,000 euros – $10,600 – for each day it breaches the rule.