Taxi agency Uber has reached a €2.025m out of court settlement with the Dutch public prosecution office for operating its illegal UberPop service in the Netherlands in 2014 and 2015.
The UberPop option allows private individuals to operate as taxis, but this is illegal under Dutch law.
The company has also agreed to hand over the €309,409 it earned from UberPop and the person responsible for the service in the Netherlands has accepted a 90 hour community service sentence, the public prosecution department said.
‘A taxi licence is intended to ensure the safety of the customer,’ the department said in a statement. ‘A licence 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.’
In addition, the department said, providing taxi services without a licence creates unfair competition.
Uber now only operates in the Netherlands with licenced drivers. ‘Today is an important day for us,’ the company said in an emailed statement. ‘This settlement allows us to formally close this chapter, shows we have learned from our mistakes and have changed as an organisation.’
Uber has also recently been under fire in Amsterdam after four fatal road accidents in six weeks involving Uber drivers.
The company later announced that people under 21 would be banned from working for it, and that all of its drivers would have a minimum of one year’s driving experience.
In addition, young Uber drivers now have to follow an obligatory driving course with road safety body VVN before they can start.
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