- The Brussels Appeal Court ruled on Wednesday that the 2015 ban on private individuals offering taxi services also applies to professional drivers.
- The decision will affect most of Uber’s 2,000 drivers in Brussels.
- Angry drivers blocked major roads across the city in protest on Thursday.
Uber has been ordered to stop offering its main ride-hailing service in the Belgian capital Brussels from Friday evening.
The Brussels Appeal Court ruled on Wednesday that the 2015 ban on private individuals offering taxi services also applies to professional drivers.
“Starting this Friday, you won’t be able to ride Uber in the capital of the European Union,” Uber wrote on twitter Wednesday. “We are disappointed with today’s court decision to close our Brussels app.”
Uber said the decision was against the European Commission’s digital and green ambitions. The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union.
Uber is fighting legal battles across Europe over how it hires drivers and complies with taxi regulations. It says drivers like the flexibility of self-employment, but some drivers say they struggle to earn enough money through the app, while also missing out on employee benefits such as sick pay and annual leave.
Niklas Ostberg, co-founder and CEO of food delivery app Delivery Hero, also criticized the decision.
“Europe’s anti-tech stances are only hurting our own technological progress,” he wrote on twitter, “Uber disrupted the taxi industry 10 years ago and we still don’t have a better solution than this?”
Angry drivers blocked the main road leading to the center of Brussels from European institutions on Thursday in protest against the Brussels Mobility Authority gave advice Drivers should avoid traveling in the city.
brussels government agree thursday On a proposal to reform the taxi and private car industry of the region. Officials said they would “actively seek a temporary solution” for Uber, although that has yet to be formally announced.
Brussels minister-president Rudy Vervoort wrote on Twitter that the agreement should guarantee “a quality service that adapts to the new habits of customers and users.”
The court also fined Uber 300,000 euros ($336,000). according to Businesshala, It reportedly asked two of the company’s units to pay 150,000 euros because it backed the complaint by Brussels taxi firm Taxi Verts.
While London is the largest market for Uber in Europe, Brussels is a major city with many business representatives and politicians regularly visiting the city.