Uber to give back ‘criminally earned capital’ as part of $2.6 million fine to Netherlands

  09 March 2019    Read: 2242
Uber to give back ‘criminally earned capital’ as part of $2.6 million fine to Netherlands

Ride-hailing firm Uber has agreed to pay €2.33 million (US$2.6 million) in a settlement with Dutch prosecutors over the illegal activities of its UberPop service in the Netherlands in 2014 and 2015.

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service announced on Friday the US-based company will have to pay fines totaling around €2.025 million across the four Uber companies — Uber International BV, Uber Netherlands BV, Uber BV, and Rasier Operations BV. Apart from that, the Silicon Valley firm is to hand over €309,409 of “criminally earned capital.” 

In addition to the financial penalties, the person responsible for the rollout of the service in the Netherlands received a 90-hour community service sentence, according to the public prosecution department.

UberPop allowed amateur drivers – those with no taxi license but that have their own car – to give rides to customers, while unlicensed taxi services are illegal under Dutch law.

“A taxi license is intended to ensure the safety of the customer,” the department said in a statement. “A license also imposes requirements on the vehicles, such as an on-board computer in the car, that makes it possible to check drivers’ driving and rest times.”

UberPop has long been the subject of criticism in some European countries as local taxi unions accuse the unlicensed ride-hailing service of unfair competition. The app has been suspended in most European cities and replaced with UberX, which requires drivers to get a license.

Some countries have already targeted not only the company’s low-cost service with its non-professional drivers, but all Uber services. Earlier this year, a Dutch-speaking tribunal of a Belgian commercial court said that Uber services are outlawed in Brussels, while the French-speaking side was still considering the case.

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