More trouble brewing for Uber in Brussels

Uber is an illegal service that keeps violating the rules, a Brussels minister said

There is more trouble brewing for ride-hailing service Uber in Brussels where the minister for mobility announced he will file a complaint with the police to take the company's site offline in Belgium.

That's not all, though. Brussels-Capital Region Minister Pascal Smet, will also file a criminal complaint against Uber and will inform Apple and Google that the Uber apps in their app stores incite illegal practices, he said Friday.

Moreover, two of his colleagues responsible for fiscal and social fraud will start investigations into the company's business practices. "As long as Uber refuses to abide by some basic rules in the field of safety, liability and social protection, it remains an illegal service," said Smet.

In Brussels, the company runs UberPop, a ride-sharing service that typically uses drivers who drive their own cars but who do not have licenses to transport passengers for a fee.

The company refuses to give insight into how it meets, or fails to meet, fiscal and social regulations, Smet said. Some Uber drivers also have other jobs and only moonlight for Uber, while others get paid by Uber while also receiving an unemployment allowance. Such forms of fraud are unacceptable and create unfair competition for taxi companies that abide by the rules, he said.

Uber was banned from operating in Brussels by the Brussels Commercial Court in April because drivers don't have commercial licenses after a lawsuit was filed by Brussels taxi company Taxis Verts. However, Uber flouted that ban and just kept operating its service, despite a court order that it has to pay a penalty of €10,000 (about US$12,500) per violation.

Besides the mentioned measures, the Brussels government will also start employing "mystery shoppers" in a bid to increase controls on Uber, which could include confiscating the cars of drivers, Smet said.

Meanwhile, Smet will continue his work on modernization of regulations for the taxi sector. New rules must make regular taxis more consumer friendly while technological innovation and car-sharing initiatives will also have a place in the regulations, he said.

The Brussels Uber crackdown follows a week of turmoil around the U.S.-based company, with pressure mounting worldwide over similar issues. On Tuesday for instance, it was banned from operating in Spain for "unfair competition" and conducting unauthorized services, while a Dutch court upheld a ban on UberPop in the Netherlands Monday.

Uber was also banned in Delhi Monday after one of its drivers was charged with raping a female passenger over the weekend. Meanwhile, the company was sued in the U.S. by the city of Portland, Oregon, in a bid to halt its service until it obtains permits to operate legally.

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

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags legalCriminalUber

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Roam freely in the digital world. Critically acclaimed performance and security at your fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?