What do Budapest and Austin have in common? Both are cities that have been abandoned by Uber after their governments passed laws seen as onerous by the famously prickly ride-hailing service.
Uber is suspending its service in Hungary after the right-wing government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban passed a new law to block internet access to “illegal dispatch services,” according to Reuters. The measure, which passed in June, came after months of protests by taxi drivers against Uber in Budapest and other European cities.
Uber says 160,000 people in Budapest use its service to hail rides. Those people will now have to use the city’s traditional taxi services, but an Uber official told Reuters that this was just a suspension, and not a permanent ban.
It’s also another sign of Uber’s struggles in Europe, a continent with a more labor-friendly history that has continuously turned its nose up at Uber’s hard-charging ways. In Germany, Uber pulled out of three cities after new rules would require its drivers to obtain the same licenses as taxi drivers. In France, two Uber executives were arrested after a nationwide strike by that country's taxi drivers. A judge in Milan ordered the discontinuation of Uber in Italy, calling the service "unfair competition." And the company suspended its service in Spain after a judge ruled that Uber didn't comply with the country's laws.
Uber has also pulled out of some US cities — Austin is the prime example — but has mostly consolidated its grip on the market in this country.