A Belgian commercial court has declared Uber illegal in Brussels. The Dutch-speaking tribunal of Commerce sided with local taxi companies and outlawed the ride-hailing service in the Belgian capital.
The court ruled that the law permitted only taxi services to operate whose drivers were in possession of a taxi license and a special light on the roof to operate in Brussels, confirming a ruling delivered in December against the service Uberpop.
Each noncompliance may result in a €10,000 ($11,300) fine for the platform, local media said.
The move is aimed to clarify a decision originally made in 2015, which ordered the US-based company to close its low-cost service with unprofessional drivers, Uberpop, in Brussels while the more expensive UberX service remained unaffected. The December order apparently targets all Uber services, however, the French-speaking side is still considering the case.
Meanwhile, a local taxi firm blames Uber for interpreting the 2015 court decision in its own way to continue operations, RTL reported citing head of Taxis Verts Michel Petre.
Uber says the move has no immediate effect on its activities, the company’s lawyer in Belgium, Etienne Kairis, told La Derniere Heure. He also believes that “there is no reason” to block UberX.
The Silicon Valley start-up has a long history of tensions with local cab companies across Europe. The governments of the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Germany sided with traditional taxis that claim the service does not follow local transportation rules and partially banned it. Some countries fully outlawed the popular app, including Hungary and Bulgaria.