Published On: Thu, Jan 1st, 2015

Jewish-Owned Uber Expelled from Spain

TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 - Day 1

Uber was forced to shut down operations all over Spain just before the start of the New Year. The move came after a Spanish judge issued an order prohibiting telecommunications operators and banks there from working with the company, thereby making it practically impossible for Uber to operate in the country.

While the company is currently valued at as much as $40 billion, it is not clear how long Uber will be able to stay in business. It is being forced to suspend operations in many countries around the world and is even having problems in various US states.

The judge’s ruling came just a few weeks after he ordered a temporary suspension of the company’s activities in that country until a lawsuit brought against Uber by the Madrid Taxi Association can be heard.

In a blog post Uber stated:

Respecting the law and temporarily suspending uberPOP in Spain

“Earlier this month, the Association Madrileña Del Taxi requested a court injunction against Uber. Today we have received the formal ruling and, in compliance with the December 9th order from the commercial judge and in respect of the law, we are temporarily suspending uberPOP in Spain while we appeal the court ruling and look to develop new options to give Spaniards access to safe, reliable rides.”

The company has, however, asserted that it believes this to be only a temporary setback and fully expects to return to service in Spain in the near future. It only began operations there in April.

Uber pledged to work with Spanish authorities saying, “During this temporary suspension of uberPOP, we will also collaborate with Spanish politicians to develop the modern framework needed to create a permanent home for Uber and the sharing economy – and fortunately Spanish leaders have already been standing up for the innovation economy. The Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) has clearly stated that current transport restrictions are anti-competitive and restrict the entry of new players into the market – to the detriment of the consumer. The CNMC has also stressed the need to regulate the sharing economy in favor of consumers, as has the Catalan Parliament with a recent vote to establish guidelines on “collaborative consumption.”

Uber’s co-founder Travis C. Kalanick was born to a Jewish mother (her maiden name is Horwitz) in Los Angeles.

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