Rio de Janeiro to Fine Unlicensed Taxis in Setback for Uber

Rio de Janeiro will fine unlicensed taxi operators in a setback for car-hailing services such as Uber Technologies Inc.

Paid chauffeurs without a permit will be levied a fine of 1,360.29 reais ($388) and have their cars seized, according to a Rio government decree published by the city’s official gazette Thursday.

The decision by the city that is Brazil’s most popular tourist destination comes less than a month after Rio’s taxi drivers organized their biggest protest against Uber on the grounds of unfair competition. Rio, which will host the 2016 Olympics, has been arguing that drivers for Uber are operating illegally since the start of the service last year.

Drivers for Uber provide an individual private transport service backed by Brazil’s Constitution and they should have their right to work preserved, the San Francisco-based company said in an e-mailed statement.

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