Packing up its toys and going home
Uber announced it is voluntarily pulling all of its business from the country of Denmark by April 18. All because of a law.
Their newest hissy fit
In February, the Danish government passed a new set of regulations for commercial drives that is being dubbed as the “taxi law”.
The new measures introduced includes mandatory fare meters and seat sensors and video surveillance.
Uber started operating in Denmark in November 2014. Like all other countries, it became extremely popular with users. However, after just over two years of operations, its run is ending.
Trying so hard for a loophole
Originally, Uber was determined to weather this new law by arguing that Uber considers itself as a private carpooling system rather than a taxi company. However, that stance has clearly changed since.
Uber seems unwilling to adhere to the new requirements.
Its solution—to pull its app that is used by at least 2,000 Danish drivers serving over 300,000 riders.
Uber trying to be above the law
In a statement, Uber made its decision very clear: “For us to operate in Denmark again the proposed regulations need to change”.
The ride-share company has faced criticism within Denmark since the beginnings of its operation.
Many driver unions, politicians and companies have pointed out that the app posed unfair competition because it never met strict legal standards of operation that other commercial taxis had to follow.
Uber ran into legal problems within Denmark as well
In December, Danish prosecutors charged Uber’s European division with assisting two drivers in violating taxi laws. In June last year, Copenhagen Post also reported at least 33 of their drivers were charged for operating illegally.
Jan Villadsen, president of transport at 3F, a union, said:
“When [Uber] started two and a half years ago it was illegal and was ruled illegal several times.”
He added, 6000 taxi drivers will continue to make a living because Uber is leaving.
This is not the first time Uber has pulled its operations
Uber stopped operating in Austin, Texas (along with Lyft) in early May last year, when voters upheld strict regulations on the ridesharing companies, including fingerprint based background checks.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Granted, Austin is a city. Denmark is a whole country. But Uber doesn’t care. They’re leaving anyways.” quote=”Granted, Austin is a city. Denmark is a whole country.”]
Nevertheless, if Austin is any lesson, as Avery Hartsmans of Business Insider reported, “Uber and Lyft declined to participate in a community conversation on (security) issues to help develop new forward looking government structures…Uber and Lyft may have left town, the city of Austin seems to be doing just fine without them”.
The Danes may have a similar experience soon. One-upmanship with the law has never gone Uber’s way thus far.
There is no reason to hope it would be any different this time around.