Uber banned in Italy nationwide after court rules app provides unfair competition to taxi drivers

Ride-hailing company has ten  days to shut down its services - company says it is 'shocked' and will appeal

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The Independent Online

Uber has been banned in Italy after a Rome court ruled that it represents unfair competition for traditional taxis.

The court said Uber could not use its apps in the country and could not promote or advertise its services, following legal action brought by Italy's traditional taxi unions, Reuters reported.

Uber has ten days from the date of the court decision on Friday to shut down its services. Uber says it plans to appeal the decision. 

A spokesperson said: “We are shocked by the Italian court’s decision. Thousands of professional, licensed drivers use the Uber app to make money and provide reliable transportation at the push of a button for Italians.”

Italian taxi drivers have staged a number of strikes, protesting against Uber’s presence in the country. They say the US ride-hailing service has an unfair advantage because, unlike normal taxi drivers, its drivers can purchase licenses in small towns where they cost less, and use them to work in cities, the Local reported.

Uber has faced opposition in countries around the world as its rapid expansion has hit established providers.

London’s black cab drivers have staged protests against the service, which they say has an unfair advantage because it is subject to less stringent regulation and uses its international structure to pay less tax.

In February, Uber laid out plans it hopes will bring its long-running war with black cab drivers to a close. Uber now lets traditional black cab drivers book their journeys through the app without paying the company.

The company says that it can “coexist” with traditional taxi drivers in London. But it still says that The Knowledge test is outdated, that black cab drivers should get new cars and that taxi journeys should be made cheaper.