Tags: APFN | EU | Hungary | Uber

Uber Ride-sharing App Suspending Hungary Operations July 24

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 01:38 PM

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Uber will suspend its operations in Hungary indefinitely from July 24, when new rules regulating passenger transport are due to take effect, company officials said Wednesday.

Uber Hungary director Zoltan Fekete said that the service had 160,000 users and 1,200 drivers in the country. Uber users registered in Hungary will still be able to use its app abroad.

"For now, we don't see a timeframe when we could return," Fekete said, adding that the company would continue to seek a compromise with the government. "In 20 months, we did not have the opportunity for constructive dialogue."

Legislation passed in June allows authorities to suspend websites like Uber for up to a year if they continue to operate without the necessary permits after being fined. Cars used by drivers for unlicensed passenger transport could be banned for up to three years and drivers could lose their licenses for six months.

The government said Uber had ignored Hungarian regulations in order to achieve a competitive advantage.

"The government supports innovative solutions, but it also insists that market operators involved in passenger transport must operate legally on equal terms with their competitors, and must pay taxes," said a statement from the Ministry of National Development which oversees transport issues. "Uber's decision indicates that the company is not willing to engage in fair market competition and legal operations."

Uber has disputed the government's accounts, saying all of its drivers had to have individual tax numbers, issued electronic receipts and, since last month, were taking in special training sessions.

Opposition parties charged the government with giving in to the lobbying efforts of taxi companies — which held protests slowing downtown traffic — to the detriment of consumers.

"The government is mistaken when it tries to react to new technologies with a simple ban," said a statement from the green party Politics Can Be Different.

Uber began operating in Hungary in November 2014. The company said 40 percent of Uber users in Hungary were tourists.

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Uber will suspend its operations in Hungary indefinitely from July 24, when new rules regulating passenger transport are due to take effect, company officials said Wednesday.Uber Hungary director Zoltan Fekete said that the service had 160,000 users and 1,200 drivers in the...
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2016-38-13
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 01:38 PM
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