Spain Bans Uber Car Service: Company's Appeal Could Take Months
Uber has shut down operations in Spain -- at least for now.
The New York Times reports that in early December, Spain banned the mobile app that connects a car service with smartphone users following opposition from taxi associations and policy makers. A judge ruled that the San Francisco-based company's uberPOP car service did not comply with Spanish laws and caused unfair competition for taxi drivers.
In a legal ruling on Tuesday, the judge ordered that banks and telecommunications operators stop supporting Uber's services.
Uber said it has filed an appeal, but the process could take months.
"We will also collaborate with Spanish politicians to develop the modern framework needed to create a permanent home for Uber and the sharing economy," the company said in a blog post.
Uber, which is valued at about $40 billion, has endured legal problems around the world as it tries to expand, including taxi association protests and allegations the company does not meet national transportation rules.
The company has experienced temporary bans in Belgium and Germany, but judges in these countries allow the Web-based taxi app to continue accepting passengers while it appeals the rulings.
In April, Uber launched uberPOP in Spain, the ride-sharing platform to "allow Spaniards to share their own vehicles with their peers to create more efficient cities."
The company claims its uberPOP provides safe, convenient and affordable rides that help reduce drunk driving and provide transportation to underserved communities.
The ride-share app has experienced its share of bad press and serious issues worldwide. In the month of December, four Boston women were sexually assaulted while using the Uber car service, an Indian Uber driver was accused of raping a female passenger and the company gave a U.K. woman $31 in credit after she was sexually harassed by a driver.