A court has effectively and completely banned Uber in the entire nation of Italy. A judge in Rome ruled that all of Uber’s services violate a 25 year old law, The Verge reported.
That means Uber is illegal in Italy unless a higher court overturns the ruling. Italian taxi associations brought the case in an attempt to keep out Uber which they view as unfair competition.
If Uber fails to shut down and stop advertising in Italy it faces fines of up to $10,600 a day. The ride-hailing unicorn has 10 days to appeal the ruling or pull out of Italy.
Italy is one of several countries that Uber has either been banned completely in or forced pull out of. It has faced similar bans in France, Brazil and Spain and pulled out of China because of its inability to compete in the People’s Republic.
Uber Admits it is Losing Self-Driving Car Battle
Uber’s attorneys have admitted their company is far behind Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) subsidiary Waymo in the self-driving car race.
The admission was made in a response to Alphabet’s lawsuit that contends Uber employee Anthony Levandowski stole 14,000 documents about Waymo’s technology before he left work at Google, The Verge reported. Levandowski used the technology to get Uber to buy his self-driving truck start up Otto for $680 million.
Uber’s defense is that its technology is completely different than Waymo’s and far behind that of Alphabet, a Verge article indicates. Among other things Uber notes is that its tech uses lots of sensors to see, while Waymo’s using just one sensor.
Uber might be trying to distance itself from Levandowski who has invoked his Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent possibly to avoid criminal prosecution and prison. Uber might be able to avoid a jury trial that would air its dirty laundry, and destroy its reputation as the world’s most valuable unicorn through arbitration.
The argument being that Levandowski violated his employee contract with Alphabet. That would make the case between him and his former employer and leave Uber out of it.
Even if it succeeds Uber looks real bad here, and its reputation might have been completely destroyed. One has to wonder how this company will be able to retain its value with such a reputation.