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Uber bows out of Hungary, blames new law blocking internet access to dispatchers

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Uber has had a tough time in Europe in the form of significant regulatory hurdles. Unfortunately for the ride-hailing service, its tough times continue as it suspended service in Hungary, Reuters reports.

Hungary’s parliament passed a measure in June that allows the government to block Internet access to “illegal dispatcher services.” The measure was passed thanks in large part to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose right-wing Fidesz party holds the majority in parliament.

The measure is sure to please Hungarian taxi drivers, who have protested Uber and wanted the company and its app blocked in the country because they believe Uber drivers consistently breach regulations that more traditional taxi drivers must adhere to. However, according to Uber, the new law will force 160,000 people to consider using those traditional taxi services, as well as 1,200 drivers to find other means of employment.

Rob Khazzam, general manager for Uber in central Europe, emphasized the ride-hailing service has not been banned, but felt forced to suspend its operations in Hungary. Khazzam hopes that Uber will return to Hungary sooner rather than later.

“It is not a ban. Uber has not been banned in Budapest,” said Khazzam. “It is simply a forced suspension. We have been left no other alternative by the authorities in Hungary in response to these developments.”

As previously mentioned, Uber has had an incredibly tough time maintaining its operations in different regions of Europe. In June, Uber lost a legal battle in France over the illegal conduct of its transportation business, with the ride-hailing service also experiencing legal troubles in Italy, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands, according to Ars Technica. Uber also faces resistance in the U.S., with the company halting its service in Austin, Texas, over a law that requires ride-sharing companies to run fingerprint background checks on drivers.

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