BUSINESS

Uber Is Leaving Denmark After Rough Two Years

The company's unwilling to adhere to taxi regulations coming into effect next month

BUSINESS
Photo Illustration: Diana Quach
Mar 28, 2017 at 9:21 AM ET

Denmark Uber users will have to say “farvel” to the ridehailing app next month, as the company has announced it will be leaving the country in light of new taxi laws.

The laws, which many forecasted would end Uber’s Danish ambitions, states that taxis must have seat sensors, taxi meters, and video surveillance in order to be operating legally. Though the head of the association for Uber drivers in Denmark had originally stated this wouldn’t change anything, since Uber considers itself a private carpooling system rather than a taxi company, a spokesperson has since reversed that position.

“For us to operate in Denmark again the proposed regulations need to change,” the spokesperson told Reuters, adding that the company will continue to work with the government.

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There are roughly 300,000 Danish Uber riders and 2,000 drivers within the country, where the population is about 5.7 million.

Though Uber has been in Denmark since 2014, it has faced a significant share of problems there since the outset of its service. According to a June article from the Copenhagen Post, at least 33 Uber drivers within the city were charged with operating a taxi illegally. Several of those who had appealed the charges were found guilty toe following month, according to another Danish news outlet. Uber was charged with complicity in those cases.

It would be easy to say that Uber’s been having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week, what with the company having to pull its self-driving cars off U.S. roads earlier this week due to an accident, but the reality is that Uber’s been embroiled in bad press for months. In the U.S., Uber riders deleted the app en masse after the company crossed the picket line by bringing customers to John F. Kennedy airport while protests waged and taxi drivers striked over Trump’s initial Muslim ban. Then came accusations of rampant sexism permeating the company culture. After that, CEO Travis Kalanick faced a PR meltdown after footage of him lashing out at a driver went viral.