An Italian court ordered Uber to cease operations in all of Italy due to being “unfair competition” for taxi drivers. Uber is now deemed a business that bypasses laws and regulations implemented on the ride-sharing industry by the Italian government.
Uber has ten days to get out of Italy completely, and if they are caught operating in Italy after the ten days are up, the company will have to pay a €10,000 fine for every day it is operating illegally. So essentially, Uber can stay in Italy if it pays the Italian government a fine of €3.65 million per year.
The company’s Italy unit said that they are “shocked” and will file for an appeal.
Uber told La Repubblica that they want the Italian government to decide whether it wants to keep its outdated laws of the past (protectionism), or finally allow Italians to benefit from new technologies that the free market has to offer.
This isn’t Uber’s first clash with stringent laws in areas they try to operate. Since its arrival, Uber has become a very controversial issue in many other European countries. Taxi unions have been working together, in an effort to push for more regulation and combat what they view as unlawful competition.
Regulation on ride-sharing services is, at its core, the government making it their business whenever we decide to have somebody pick us up and drop us off in their car. That, in itself, should be considered unlawful.