After a ruling by a location regulator that the firm wasn’t fairly engaged in competition, Uber Technologies Inc. is asking for the Colombian government to put emergency regulations into place to enable its ridesharing service to continue running. The firm seeks to have the administration of President Iván Duque Márquez put an emergency decree into motion to create temporary ride-hailing service rules, Bloomberg reported.
If the decree doesn’t occur, the company will reportedly conclude its service in the country as of Feb. 1. Uber has come across strong resistance from taxi drivers after selecting Bogota as its inaugural South American operation in 2013. The firm has hired almost 90,000 drivers, offered service to approximately two million riders and paid approximately $40 million in taxes over the years, but the government has not introduced any legislation to regulate the service.
A taxi service sued Uber for going against competition norms, and a local market regulator ruled against the ride-hailing firm last month. Transportation Minister Angela Maria Orozco said, per reports, that “the country does not legislate for any particular company.” The government has said it will have regulation ready by March, but the ride-hailing firm would have stopped service by that time.
Justin Kintz, the company’s vice president for global public policy, said that “almost every other country in Latin America and nearly every country around the world that has encountered Uber has figured out a way to set rules and regulations to govern our service. Colombia stayed behind.”
As previously reported, Uber was ordered by a Colombian judge to stop securing business in the country through its popular ridesharing app. The country’s Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) said Uber went against market rules.
The SIC ordered Uber’s ride-hailing services “through the use of the Uber application to cease immediately,” which impacted Uber, Uber VAN and Uber X. The regulator said in a statement that Uber generated “a significant advantage in the market” by rendering transport offerings through its application.