Uber wants back in Hungary, complains to EC

History

U.S.-based ride-sharing company Uber wants to return to Hungary and yesterday filed a complaint with the European Commission, the Associated Press reported. Uber quit the country last month after new regulations effectively banned the service.

Rob Khazzam, Uberʼs general manager for Central Europe.

“We want to bring back a service that has been embraced by so many people,” Rob Khazzam, Uberʼs general manager for Central Europe, told AP. “We want to ensure that people in Hungary have access to a service that is available in almost all other European Union countries,” he added. 

As a reaction to Uber’s complaint, the Hungarian government denied banning Uber, saying that the company itself decided to leave the country. “We are ready to undergo any ‘examination’,” AP cited government spokesman Zoltán Kovács as saying. “We only asked one thing of Uber: to respect the rules which apply to everyone in Hungary,” Kovács added.

After Hungarian taxi drivers applied pressure for months with recurring demonstrations, the government decided to change related rules. With the changes, Uber would have been required for all intents and purposes to turn into taxis to operate legally.

Uber suspended its service in Budapest in July, claiming regulatory changes made it impossible to operate locally, while the government said Uber dodged taxes and disregarded rules.

Uber had 160,000 users and 1,200 drivers in Hungary, with approximately 40% of rides in Budapest ordered by foreigners.

Soon after Uber announced temporarily suspending its services in Hungary, two similar service providers announced they would start operations in the country, abiding by all the related regulations.

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