A judge in Madrid temporarily halts Uber operations in Spain
Taxi drivers' association argues that Uber is unfair competition and lacks proper licenses
It is expected to file a formal complaint before the court; Uber can then make its case
A Spanish judge on Tuesday temporarily banned cell phone-based taxi service Uber from operating in Spain after a complaint brought by taxi drivers in the capital, Madrid.
The judge issued the ban, the equivalent of a temporary injunction, on the grounds that Uber was deemed to be causing damage to the taxi industry, a court spokesman said.
The hearing was in response to a complaint by the Madrid taxi association, which argued that Uber is unfair competition and also lacks the proper municipal licenses to operate a taxi service.
The Madrid taxi association is expected now to file a formal lawsuit with the court, after gathering more documents and information, the court spokesman said.
Legal arguments for Uber were not heard before the judge because the company is located outside of Spain, in the U.S. state of Delaware, and the taxi industry was seeking immediate relief, he said.
The company is expected to have a chance to argue its points before the judge when the formal lawsuit is filed.
The Madrid ruling comes on the same day that India’s federal government warned states against allowing unlicensed Web-based taxi services after an Uber driver was accused of raping a woman in New Delhi.
Transport authorities in New Delhi on Monday announced a ban on Uber services in the Indian capital, saying their investigation revealed the company was violating permit rules.
CNN’s Al Goodman reported from Madrid and Elwyn Lopez from Atlanta, while Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London.