Uber to Suspend Hungary Operations After New Laws Impose Blocks

  • Company has nearly 1,200 drivers operating across the country
  • Regional manager for startup says suspension may be temporary

Uber Technologies Inc. will suspend its ride-hailing services in Hungary from July 24 following a government decision to pass a bill that allows authorities to block access to the mobile application and fine media promoting it.

San Francisco-based Uber has previously said its Hungarian drivers are licensed and tax compliant.

“At this time we and our nearly 1,200 Hungarian partners are unable to provide services under new regulations which prohibit innovation and entrepreneurship,” Robbie Khazzam, Uber’s regional manager for central and eastern Europe, said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. “Our hope is that this suspension is temporary, and that future dialogue in Hungary around the collaborative economy is more inclusive and forward-looking.”

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.

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

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