Uber to pull out of Denmark blaming new taxi law
Uber says it will pullout of Denmark next month, on April 18, blaming a new taxi law that includesrequirements such as mandatory fare meters and seat sensors.
While traditional cabs are likelyalready kitted out with the required tech, Ubers service relies on drivers using their own vehicles as taxis, and smartphones as meters, so it would be harder for the company to comply.
Uberhad previously vowed to stay and fightforderegulation in Denmark, with an incoming liberal government suggesting in December that it might seek to make changes to existing taxi laws.So its entirely possible Uber ishoping that announcing the withdrawal now will apply some last-minute pressure on regulators for a rethink.
An Uber spokesman told us that in order for the company to operate in the marketthe proposed regulations need to change, adding that Uberwill continue towork with the government in the hopes of effecting such a change.
In a statement, Uberadded: Unfortunately, due to the upcoming changes in regulations, we have been left with no choice but to close the service. Our top priority is supporting the drivers who use Uber during this difficult time. We will continue to work with the government in the hope that they will update their proposed regulations and again enable Danes to enjoy the benefits of modern technologies like Uber.
Uber saysit has more than 2,000 drivers in Denmark and 300,000 users of its ride-hailing app. The spokesman saidwill be providing dedicated resources to assist driversthroughout the shutdown process. Uber launched in the country in 2014. Uber to pull out of Denmark
The company also employs some 40 engineers in the country, based in Aarhus, who itsays work on its tech globally. It saysit has no plans to close this development operation indeed, ithints at future expansions, which may also be a not-so-subtle attempt to play politics with local lawmakers.
Uberhas already faced challenges in Denmark, with its European business indicted in a Danish court last December on charges of assisting two drivers of breaking local taxi laws.
Regulators and judges in other European markets have also caused Uber to reverse course. Though the company alsosaw off a 2015 High Court challenge in the UK, brought by the local taxi industry, which had tried to argue that Uber should be regulated as a taxi business as itsuse of smartphones constituted use of a taximeter. The judge disagreed. Uber to pull out of Denmark
A Europe-wide judgement on the question of how Ubers business should beregulatedis expected later this year, after the regions top court was asked to provide a ruling on whether its a taxi company or a tech platform.