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Uber is no stranger to battles with governments and their regulations, but now, the company is facing one of its tougher cases yet.
Uber is being unceremoniously thrown out of Italy. On Friday, a court in the European country decided to officially ban the ride-sharing app, noting that it results in unfair competition with traditional transportation offerings (like taxis). Although the ruling is subject to appeal, the immediate result for the time being is a 10-day timeframe for Uber to pack up and leave the country.
The decision upholds a complaint initially filed by taxi unions. As part of the decision, not only will Uber have to stop operating in Italy, but it’ll also have to stop advertising in the country. Should the company refuse to cooperate, it could be looking at a fine of 10,000 euros (which is to say, $10,600) for every day that it decides to stay active.
But unsurprisingly, Uber isn’t going away without a fight. In a statement, the company noted, “We are shocked by the Italian’s court decision and will appeal. Thousands of professional, licensed drivers use the Uber app to make money and provide reliable transportation at the push of a button for Italians.”
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This is not the first time Uber has been in trouble in Italy. Two years ago, a court in Milan decided to ban the UberPop application. At the time, it was determined that the app encouraged unlicensed drivers to offer taxi services. Despite an appeal, that decision was upheld at a later hearing in Turin.
Lawyers for Italy’s taxi unions are hopeful that the decision to ban Uber at large will also hold. “This is the fourth ruling by an Italian judge that ascertains Uber’s unfair competition, the latest battle in a legal war that began in 2015 to stop the most striking form of unfair competition ever registered on the Italian local public transportation market,” the lawyers told local newspaper Corriere della Sera. So if Uber wants to stay, it certainly looks to have its work cut out.