Ridesharing

Colombian Regulators Order Uber To Shut Down

Uber will cease operating in Colombia at the end of the month, the company said in a statement.

The decision — the latest blow to the rideshare company — comes after protests from Colombian taxi drivers that Uber was breaking the rules of the country’s taxi market.

According to a lawsuit from the opposition company, Uber had an unfair advantage over other taxis because it did not have to pay the same regulatory fees that other taxis were subject to.

Uber appealed the decision by saying that it was “arbitrary,” noting that the ruling did not ban its companion service Uber Eats.

Colombia was not Uber’s largest market, with only about 88,000 drivers and 2 million customers. But the fact that the ruling caused the company to suspend services in the country shows that regulation has the power to seriously hamper companies as large as Uber.

Uber is facing adversity elsewhere, too, as London decided to strip Uber of its license to operate there last November. The reasoning for that was over safety concerns and false identities used by some drivers.

Uber had around 3.5 million customers and 45,000 drivers in London at that time, and it has said it will be appealing the decision.

And, it has got challenges in the U.S. as well, mostly in the form of California’s new AB 5, which requires gig economy workers for companies like it to be classified as employees, rather than contractors.

The wording of the bill drastically restricts which workers can be classified as contractors. According to the bill, employees must do work outside of the usual scope of a company’s business to be classified as contractors.

In response to that bill, Uber will launch an ad campaign to try and take it down in the next election. Its position is that the law is too broad and arbitrary, targeting some companies like Uber and leaving others out.

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