Uber Technologies Inc. is closing its ride-hailing service in Denmark ahead of regulation changes it said would make its app unworkable for consumers.
The San Francisco-based company said it’s stopping the service used by 2,000 private drivers in the country as of April 18, citing upcoming new proposed regulations that would impose licensing requirements on cars that function like taxis, and require seat sensors and meters, instead of using a smartphone to calculate fares as Uber does.
The decision to withdraw follows a Danish government proposal to strengthen taxi rules and a high court ruling late last year that ruled the company was an illegal taxi service.
"Unfortunately, due to the upcoming changes in regulations, we have been left with no choice but to close the service," an Uber spokesman said, adding that the company would "support" drivers who will lose work. "We will continue to work with the government in the hope that they will update their proposed regulations and again enable Danes to enjoy the benefits of modern technologies like Uber.”
The decision is the latest setback for the well-funded startup, which competes with traditional taxi services by letting private drivers contract with it for fares it solicits through a mobile-device app. Uber has also run into regulatory problems in countries including Germany, the U.K. and France.
Uber’s spokesman said the company would retain its 40 engineers in the Danish city of Aarhus, who develop software for the global market.