Uber’s ride-hailing app will become nearly useless in Brussels from Friday evening following a court ruling on Wednesday, the company said.
Two thousand private drivers with licenses in Brussels will no longer be able to pick up customers, according to the company, due to a ruling of the Brussels Court of Appeal in which the judge widened a 2015 cease and desist order against the company’s UberPop formula to rope in professional drivers.
UberPop, which allowed private individuals to take rides, no longer operates in Brussels. But the rulings against it have come back to haunt the company, which now works with professional drivers.
POLITICO has not yet been able to obtain confirmation from the court itself.
In a statement, Uber’s head of Belgium Laurent Slits took a swipe at the Brussels government, which introduced a new proposal for taxi reform at the end of September after some delay.
“This decision was made based on outdated regulations written in a time before smartphones, which the government has promised and failed to reform for the last seven years,” Slits said. “We are deeply concerned about the 2,000 Brussels LVC [private car for hire] drivers who will lose their ability to generate earnings from Friday.”
The court ruling doesn’t mean Uber’s app will shut down entirely, as drivers with a Flemish license can still operate in Brussels.