An Italian court has banned the use of smartphone apps for the ride-hailing group Uber, saying they contribute to traditional taxis facing unfair competition, local media reported.
In a ruling that is subject to appeal, a court in Rome yesterday upheld a complaint filed by taxi unions and gave Uber ten days to end the use of various phone applications on Italian territory, along with the promotion and advertising of them.
If Uber does not comply it could face a fine of 10,000 euros for each day it remains in defiance of the court.
Uber said it was shocked by the ruling and that it would appeal immediately, seeking suspension of the ruling.
The court's ruling follows a decision by a court in Milan two years ago to ban the company's UberPop application, which was deemed under Italian law to encourage the provision of taxi services by unlicensed drivers. That ruling was upheld in a subsequent court case in Turin.
Uber's situation in Italy is the same problem it typically deals with, albeit on a different day and in a different country. The company faced similar pushback from local taxi associations in France, the UK and other places around the globe, and it'll no doubt happen again and again. In fact, this isn't the first court battle it lost in the European country: a couple of years ago, a court in Milan banned the company's UberPop application.
Nevertheless, the company said in a statement that it's "shocked" by the court's decision and will file for an appeal. It added: "Thousands of professional, licensed drivers use the Uber app to make money and provide reliable transportation at the push of a button for Italians." Until it changes the court's mind, though, Uber's Black, Lux, Suv, X , XL, Select and Van phone applications will have to say goodbye to Italian commuters.