Uber is to stop all its operations in Hungary saying a new law makes it impossible to run the ride-hailing service there, Euronews reports.


Under the law, Hungary’s national communications authority can block internet access to what it deems “illegal dispatcher services”.


The company’s Central European Regional Manager, Rob Khazzam, told Euronews: “This is a unique decision. We’ve not been banned, but it has simply been made impossible for our partners to continue operating here, and unfortunately it has led us to reassess our business here.”


Khazzam continued: “It’s the same services that people are using and providing in 21 other EU member states, and it is just too hard to do it in Hungary today. We hope that changes and if it does, we’ll definitely be the first back.”


The Hungarian government said the legislation passed in June is to ensure Uber operates lawfully, competes fairly and pays taxes.


The company insisted that its drivers were professionally licensed and tax compliant.


In Budapest, e-commerce expert Egon Ervin Kis said he believes the new law will stifle innovation: “This is taking away from everybody the opportunity to use this kind of innovation to develop, for the taxi drivers to develop with it, along with the passengers. And if we want to come back to this kind of operation in a few years time, then the situation will be totally different, because e-commerce is changing really fast.”


Uber will be gone from Hungary by July 24 when the new law comes into effect. It said it has 1,200 drivers in Hungary and 40 percent of its users are tourists.




Photo: reuters.com

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