Despite its German-inspired name, ride-sharing service Uber has faced nothing but difficulty launching in Europe. After fizzling in France and inspiring the ire of thousands of cab drivers, Uber has come to another stop sign, this time in Spain.
The service, which allows users to book transportation through an app on their phone runs up against Spanish law, which requires all drivers be appropriately licensed and bonded commercially. cNet offers a translation of Spain’s rule on the subject.
“Private transportation is qualified as such if it is used for personal or domestic transportation needs of the owner or close relatives. […] Under no circumstances, will the private driver receive any kind of direct or indirect remuneration except for food, money, or transportation costs.”
The Uber service in some forms allows ordinary drivers to act as pick-up agents.
“[Uber] is, to the best of our knowledge, a totally illegal business that incites the use of ‘pirate’ transportation without any guarantee for the consumers as well as fomenting the black economy as none of those transactions are registered as economic activity or under administrative control […] If no immediate correction measures are taken, we might be on the verge of an imminent nationwide protest,” wrote the Spanish Taxi Confederation, as translated by Tech.eu.
Uber has responded that they continue to plan their worldwide expansion plans, which they believe benefit everyone, despite the protests in Spain and France.
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