Hungary to Tighten Taxi Rules as Anti-Uber Protests Persist

Hungary moved closer to winding down Uber Technologies Inc.’s local car service in the eastern European country after the government submitted a bill that would allow authorities to block access to the mobile application and fine media promoting it.

Taxi drivers have blocked traffic in the capital several times this year, including Tuesday, in protest against the company which they say breaks domestic regulations on carrying passengers.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s cabinet has sided with traditional drivers, whose business model has been disrupted by the ride-sharing firm across the globe. Taxi drivers in Budapest are obliged to follow strict rules on their services, including regulated pricing and limits on the age and make of cars they can use.

Uber said its more than 1,200 Hungarian drivers are "licensed and tax compliant."

"It is likely that the government’s plan is unconstitutional and violates EU law," Zoltan Fekete, Uber’s general manager in Budapest, said in a statement before the draft bill was submitted. "In the meantime Uber will continue operating in Budapest and fully supporting drivers using the platform.”

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