9 Dec, 2014 @ 18:10
1 min read

Uber taxi app banned in Spain

TAXI app Uber has been banned in Spain, and is to stop all operations immediately.

According to a high court judge, Uber drivers ‘lack the administrative authorisation to carry out the job’ and stand as unfair competition to legitimate taxi drivers.

The Madrid Taxi Association has been protesting against the San Francisco-based company for months, leading to today’s temporary legal action.

Uber has faced strong opposition globally from some governments as well as established taxi firms, including London’s ‘black cab’ drivers.

The company does not own cars or employ drivers, but connects customers and vehicles through its app.

The judge insisted that the ruling is not a philosophical statement on the ‘sharing economy’, but is simply intended as a precautionary measure.

The ruling comes just one day after the taxi app was banned in the Indian capital Delhi following the alleged rape of a passenger by an Uber driver.

Uber has expanded exponentially since its 2009 launch, and now operates in more than 250 cities across 50 countries.

Imogen Calderwood

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  1. Ah yes, ‘unfair competition’. Tsk tsk! The next story will be how a court has banned lorries at the behest of the horse-cart drivers guild (¡Vaya país!)

  2. Ridiculous. All the app is doing is allowing someone to book a cab. Spain may as well ban Amazon and has once again shown that it is not up-to-date with modern practices. Rather than compete and innovate, it jut bans the competition. Let’s face it, the taxi services in Spain are shambolic and scam-ridden. They are an expat-fleecing machine.

  3. Also “banned” (it’s actually a cautionary measure) at times in places like Germany, Thailand, India and even certain american states. Could it just be that Uber are seeking notoriety (and the publicity) by stretching laws and norms?? Always had v good service and prices from taxis in Spanish cities myself, but cover can be sparse in the smaller towns and villages. And in London, despite the high prices I’d hate to see the Cabby driven out by amateurs.

  4. We’ve seen this kind of battle play out many times before, when an entrenched industry and its associated bureaucracy are threatened by new technology. Making city transportation as simple as pushing a button on your smart phone verses standing on the corner screaming and waving like an idiot seems like a no brainer. I think the cabbies that fight this are in a losing battle. Sort of like film vs. digital or typewriter vs. word processor.

  5. A temporary ban could mean that “negotiations” (i.e commissions) are “on-going”. Free competition is not a feature known too well in Spain. No doubt in the due course of time, this could happen…….but I’m not waiting.

  6. It’s an interesting concept but surely a little dodgy on various levels?

    First, looking at the blah blah website anyone can sign up to offer a ride from anywhere to anywhere…. Doesn’t seem to be much checking on who the driver is…. Result? Maybe a danger to people trusting a long trip in a car with a stranger… As maybe happened in India with an alleged rape using this service.. both client and driver could target for various reasons..

    Secondly, it seems like it’s sharing a car but really if you take cash then you are charging a person for a service even if it is “sharing” the petrol costs….

    Fairly obvious that taxis and transport companies will be against it….

  7. “…people trusting a long trip in a car with a stranger”

    @Clive, licensed taxi drivers would be strangers too. If I get a taxi from the airport I’m pretty sure I would never have met the driver before. I know families who have a licensed taxi business and they often get friends and family to use their cars for customer trips; what seems like a regulated taxi service is actually quite anarchic in reality.

  8. oh dear,,,

    Fred, I think that there is a very big difference between getting into an unlicensed, unregistered, illegal pay faring private car and a registered taxi…

    Fred, your pedantic comments can be very tiring sometimes…. It was fairly obvious, the meaning in my words and reasonably logical…

  9. @Clive, if the car is using Uber then it will be ‘registered’, but the driver will still be a stranger. I am commenting on the sole issue of the driver being a stranger, that is all. There have been cases of licensed taxi drivers attacking people too – they are still strangers. I find your lack of logic tiresome.

  10. And as I pointed out, very little information is asked of the driver providing the service…Anyone with a car will do and on the signup form i see no field for the “taxi” to input the license that all legal taxis have…

  11. @Clive, life is full of risks, who knows what will happen when you get in a taxi, licensed or otherwise? Perhaps Uber should make the driver registration process more thorough. Sharing cars would also seem to be safer.

    @pg, you do not have the intelligence to debate these issues, best go away.

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