27 January, 2015
The innovative taxi service Uber has received a €10 000 fine by the Dutch Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT). The fine was issued because Uber continues to offer its banned service: Uberpop.
Uberpop is a service that allows drivers to offer their services without an official permit. Last July, the service was banned by the ILT. The ILT considers Uberpop to be a taxi service. Consequently, the drivers should have an official taxi permit. In December, the Dutch preliminary injunction court affirmed the ILT’s viewpoint. Earlier, Dutch Uberpop drivers received fines. It is the first time the U.S. based Uber headquarters receive a fine from the ILT.
Uber declared they will continue to offer their Uberpop services in the Netherlands. Later this year, the Dutch Taxi Act will be renewed. Uber expects the Uberpop services will be legal under the new Taxi Act.
The Netherlands isn’t the first country that banned Uberpop. Fines were already issued in Germany and Belgium. Uber is an example of an innovative technology that conflicts with existing regulation. In order to prevent restrictions on your innovative technology, it is useful to examine what the legislative challenges are before launching a service.