Uber announces closure of UberPOP in Brussels

The announcement comes after a taxi firm took the taxi-on-demand service to court

Uber has made the decision to close down its UberPOP service in Brussels, following a court case with taxi firm, Taxis Verts, based in Belgium.

"The decision means UberPOP will be required to stop in 21 days in Brussels," Uber said in a statement, although it does plan to appeal the decision.

If it has made the decision not to close down the service, it would be fined 10,000 euros (7,400) for every day it continues to operate, with an overall fine capped at 1 million (740,000). However, the company's more expensive UberX service will continue to run in the city.

The service has already been closed down in France, Italy, Spain and Germany following similar complaints from taxi firms that see the non-professional driver service as fierce competition against their highly trained drivers.

France's decision to close down UberPOP was resolved earlier this week, with the Constitutional Court upholding a national law that banned the service from operating at all in the country.

Uber was introduced into Belgium last year, but, like in the UK, it has come up against a lot of criticism from traditional taxi firms that are watching it strip their livelihoods.

Uber has been under a lot or pressure from its drivers recently too, with three of the company's employees taking the company to court, saying they should have the same rights as fully employed members of staff rather than contractors as they are currently regarded.

Last week, Uber set out its plans to appeal against the class action suit, saying any decision in favour of the drivers would have a severe impact on the entire sharing economy.

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