Brazil Suspends Uber, Uber Keeps Driving

Image courtesy of Roger Schultz

Car-hailing app Uber has racked up another municipality on its list of places where the service has been banned, yet drivers remain on the roads anyway. That distinction belongs to the entire nation of Brazil, where a judge has ruled that providing rides to strangers is the exclusive right of licensed taxi services.

Yesterday, a judge ruled that Uber must stop giving rides in Brazil, imposing a fine of 100,000 real or about $30,000 USD per day that they remain on the road. However, a Sao Paulo-based Bloomberg News reporter noted that the service was still running locally and drivers were ready to pick up fares. Maybe the service was slow to shut down, or maybe Uber is betting that the government won’t really impose those fines, and would consider them part of the cost of doing business if it does. When contacted by Bloomberg, the company claimed not to have heard about the decision yet.

The order also affects companies that offer downloads of mobile apps: Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung have been ordered to stop offering the Uber app to consumers who are known to live in Brazil, and to remotely block users who have already downloaded it.

“Thousands of professional taxi drivers are being harmed daily by the dizzying expansion of the company,” the judge wrote in his decision. The country’s taxi drivers were the ones who brought the case against Uber.

Uber Is Ordered to Suspend Services in Brazil by Sao Paulo Court [Bloomberg News]