Uber's 2017 has been rough. Bad press, allegations of sexism, drivers failing background checks, a program to trick cops, and resignations are just a piece of how the start of the new year has gone for the ubiquitous ride-sharing company.
There was more bad news Friday. An Italian court ruled in favor of the nation's taxi associations, saying Uber's practices constituted "unfair competition," reports Reuters. The judge ruled Uber is no longer allowed to run the app or advertise services anywhere in the country. Uber has been given 10 days to comply with the ruling or face fines up to €10,000 per day.
"We are shocked by the Italian’s court decision and will appeal," Uber Italy told Thrillist. "Thousands of professional, licensed drivers use the Uber app to make money and provide reliable transportation at the push of a button for Italians." The company additionally told the Italian publication Corriere Della Sera, "Now the government can’t waste more time and needs to decide whether it wants to remain anchored to the past, protecting privileged profits, or whether it wants to allow [Italy] to benefit from new technologies."
It was about a year ago both Uber and Lyft were kicked out of Austin, Texas, but neither company has yet faced a ban this sweeping. However, Uber has also faced many roadblocks and fines in Taiwan, where the company no longer operates even though the government has said the company is welcome, as long as it agrees to be regulated and insured like other taxi providers, according to the BBC. It has also faced steep fines in France and internet blockades in Hungary.
Maybe the company would have had better luck if the app offered gondolas.
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