Uber Violated South Korea Communications Law, Regulator Says

South Korea’s media regulator said it will report Uber Technologies Inc.’s local unit to prosecutors for violation of communications rules on using location data.

Uber failed to report its business and receive official permission before providing location tracking services on its ride-sharing application, the Korea Communications Commission said in an e-mailed statement today. Uber Korea faces a fine of as much as 30 million won ($27,700) if charged, it said.

San Francisco-based Uber is confronted with legal challenges as it expands in Asia amid mounting protests from taxi operators. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick was indicted in South Korea in December for violation of transportation laws stating that only licensed cabs may be used for taxi services.

Uber Korea has no immediate comment, Park Inang, an official at Uber’s South Korea public relations representative, said by phone.

The Seoul metropolitan government regards Uber’s services as “illegal” and has said it may ban the application on grounds that’s it’s unsafe and competes with licensed taxis.

Uber’s services have also been suspended in countries from India to Germany, as well as in several U.S. states. Uber was banned in Spain last month, while the European Union’s top court denied non-traditional cabs the use of London bus lanes.

The company has responded by adjusting its services, in some cases sacrificing its main business model. Earlier this week, Uber said it partnered with a local cab company for its services in Incheon, northwest of Seoul. In some countries, its software now allows customers to find licensed taxis, a less profitable business for the company.

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