Uber banned in Spain as pressure on company mounts worldwide

It's turning out to be a bad week for Uber, as it faces a growing number of bans

Ride-hailing service Uber has hit yet another legal roadblock, with a Madrid court ordering it to stop all its activities in Spain.

The company's operations in the country were banned at least temporarily by a Madrid commercial court for "unfair competition" and conducting unauthorized services, after a complaint was filed by the Madrid taxi association. In Spain, the company runs UberPop, a ride-sharing service that typically uses unlicensed drivers driving their own cars.

The court issued a statement Tuesday saying it decided to shut down the service as a cautionary measure ahead of a court case the association is planning to file against the company.

Uber was banned because its drivers have no license and no insurance, which constitutes unfair competition for the licensed taxi drivers, the court ruled. The court did not immediately reply to a request for additional comment.

It is turning out to be a bad week for Uber. Uber was banned in Delhi, India on Monday after one of its drivers was charged with raping a female passenger over the weekend. The police are checking whether the company should have vetted its drivers better.

The bans in Delhi and Spain also coincide with a ban against the company's ride-sharing service UberPop, which was upheld by a court in the Hague, the Netherlands, on Monday. That court ruled that UberPop violates Dutch taxi law because its drivers don't have a license.

Meanwhile on its home turf in the U.S., Uber was sued by the city of Portland, Oregon, in a bid to halt its service until it obtains permits to operate legally. That suit was filed only a week after Uber began operating there.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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Loek Essers

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