Uber pays $2.6M to settle historical charges it violated Dutch taxi laws

Another fine for Uber’s historical playbook: The
ride-hailing giant has agreed to pay around $2.6 million (€2.3M)
to settle charges in the Netherlands related to violations of local
taxi law, dating back to when it was operating a peer-to-peer
ride-hailing service in contravention of local transport laws.

Uber offered its UberPop service in the Netherlands between July
2014 and November 2015, when it pulled the plug —
saying
the service “had become a blog to regulatory
progress”. Which is a long-winded way of saying it wasn’t legal
to operate it.

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service (DPPS)
announced
the settlement today, saying it consists of a
€2,025,000 fine across the four Uber companies — Uber
International BV, Uber Netherlands BV, Uber BV and Rasier
Operations BV — in addition to €309,409 in “criminally earned
capital”, via Uber’s 20% commission on rides, which is being
clawed back.

The DPPS said it’s happy to settle with Uber as it believes
the courts would have reached the same penalizing conclusion.

In a press release announcing the settlement it writes that the
four named Uber entities “co-perpetrated” the violation of
local taxi law, which requires transport services to have a taxi
license to operate (whereas with UberPop Uber allowed anyone with a
vehicle to sell a ride).

Uber BV has been given the maximum possible fine (€810,000).
The other three entities have been fined half the maximum — as a
result of smaller roles in the violation, the DPPS said.

“The person responsible for the rollout of UberPop in the
Netherlands has performed a 90-hour [community service] penalty,”
it adds.

Commenting on the settlement in a statement, an Uber
spokesperson said: “We have changed the way we do business across
the world, putting integrity in the core of everything that we do.
We are committed to being a good partner to Dutch cities. We have
shut down UberPOP services in 2015. Since then, we only allow
professional and certified drivers on the app, through uberX, Van
and Black services.”

Also since 2015: Europe’s top court
judged Uber to be a transport company
— firmly closing the
regional book on any more attempts to circumvent taxi laws by
claiming it’s ‘just a technology platform’.

Source: FS – All Tech News 2
Uber pays .6M to settle historical charges it violated Dutch taxi laws