Uber has announced that it will be ending service in Denmark. The company cited “unworkable” changes to local taxi rules for its decision to pull out of the country. Uber said in a statement that it would shut down its services in Denmark on April 18 due to the new law.
Denmark’s government chose to tighten taxi protections with several new rules scheduled to take effect next year. The rules restricts the types of cars that can be used for taxi-like purposes cap new taxi driver licenses at 125 per quarter. They also require all cars being used for taxi-like purposes to have fare meters and certain types of seat sensors. The proposal was first presented in February and no date for a vote has so far been set.
Uber spokesperson Harry Porter wrote in an emailed statement, “Due to the upcoming changes in regulations, we have been left with no choice but to close the service.” Uber’s spokesman in Denmark, Kristian Agerbo, said, “We will continue to work with the government in the hope that they will update their proposed regulations and enable Danes to enjoy the benefits of modern technologies like Uber.”
Uber said it would retain a corporate presence in Denmark and its engineers in its software development division in Aarhus in northern Denmark will continue to work on developing ride-sharing technology. The company has 2,000 Danish drivers and 300,000 Danish riders. Uber said it would allocate resources to help Danish Uber drivers through the shutdown process.
Denmark is one of few countries Uber has abandoned. Uber has faced issues in the country since its app went online in Denmark in November 2014. Local taxi driver unions, companies and politicians have complained that Uber is unfair in its competition because it is not meeting the legal standards required for established taxi firms. Jan Villadsen, the president of the transport section in Denmark’s biggest union 3F, said Uber’s departure would help 6,000 taxi drivers in Denmark continue making a living.
Uber has pulled out of certain cities in the past over regulatory barriers. The company has run into trouble in New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Austin, Texas among others. It pulled out of Taiwan earlier this year after racking up about $10 million in fines and exited China last summer after selling its money-losing business to local rival Didi Chuxing.
Uber also has had issues across Europe. Uber previously halted service of UberPop in Sweden, France, and Germany. A Paris court found Uber guilty of operating an illegal rides service last summer and fined it €800,000. A lawyer recently sued Uber in London to demand that the company pay the UK’s 20 percent value added tax on every ride. The company is also struggling with a host of scandals and a steady loss of top talent.