Uber suspends operations in Spain after payment companies are ordered to cut off services
The app-based taxi service Uber last night announced that it was temporarily shutting down its service in Spain after the Association Madrileña Del Taxi requested a court injunction against Uber.
“Today we have received the formal ruling and, in compliance with the December 9th order from the commercial judge and in respect of the law, we are temporarily suspending uberPOP in Spain while we appeal the court ruling and look to develop new options to give Spaniards access to safe, reliable rides,” Carles Lloret wrote on the company’s blog.
On December 9 a Spanish judge ordered payment services to stop processing payments for Uber, and for Spanish telecom companies to block access to Uber.com. Late last week the companies compiled, and though Uber tried to find workarounds, it has decided to suspend it service pending appeals.
“During this temporary suspension of uberPOP, we will also collaborate with Spanish politicians to develop the modern framework needed to create a permanent home for Uber and the sharing economy – and fortunately Spanish leaders have already been standing up for the innovation economy,” Lloret wrote.
Taxi services are among the most regulated businesses around the world, and many countries have attempted to slow down or stop altogether the growth of Uber ride share services. Uber is hoping to generate support on social media by having people follow the hashtg #YoApoyoUber.
Meanwhile, Google News remains shutdown in Spain after legislators passed a law that goes into effect on January 1 which would require search engines to pay news outlets for the right to display content snippets in their search results. Google, in anticipation, shut down its News service, leading to the inevitable drop in web traffic to those news sites.
“This legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not,” Google wrote on its own blog. “As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach was not sustainable.”
As media outlets are required to charge the unspecified fees, there appears to way out of the situation other than for Spanish legislators to repeal the law. In the meantime, Google users in Spain are getting used to searching for news using the news tab found on the main Google search results page – a work around that, while requiring an extra click, is the equivalent service.