Uber’s woes surge around the world

Things are looking increasingly bleak for the taxi payment app Uber, as a string of rulings have outlawed its use in countries across three continents.

On Tuesday, the service was blocked in Spain after judges ruled that it breached competition regulations, and on Monday New Delhi authorities banned the app amid allegations that a driver raped a female passenger who had booked her taxi through Uber. The app had already been blocked by Thai officials citing security fears, and regulators in Germany and the Netherlands are also making things difficult for the Californian startup.

Meanwhile, its sister app, Uberpop, which allows unlicensed drivers to sell lifts in their own cars at taxi prices, was declared illegal by a Dutch court this week.

Perhaps most damaging of all are the legal challenges mounting in Uber’s own backyard. The company is being sued by officials in San Francisco and Los Angeles for misleading customers over fees and background checks, with LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey accusing the company of putting users at risk and showing “unwillingness to ensure that correct fares are charged.”

For now, the surge in hostilities does not appear to have caused serious financial trouble for Uber, which has just attracted another $1.2 billion in funding and is now valued at a total of $40 billion. But, if Uber fails to find a way to woo regulators in the coming months, it may be heading for an expensive car crash very soon.



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