Uber suspends unlicensed service in Norway
Uber seems to be taking a more conciliatory strategy in dealing with its troubles in Europe. Suspending a service in Oslo, Norway – called “UberPOP” – its baseline budget option that allows any driver without a taxi license to participate. (SOUNDBITE) (English): GWLADYS FOUCHE, REUTERS OSLO CORRESPONDENT, SAYING: “It basically means that an unregulated, unlicensed, driver is taking customers as a taxi driver. To the point, for instance, where an UberPOP taxi driver would be asking a customer to not sit in the back of the car but in the front seat because the driver was afraid that a Norwegian police officer would stop them and get fined.” UberPOP’s use of unlicensed drivers allowed it to circumvent laws that would govern a normal taxi. That, as opposed to “UberX,” which uses licensed drivers and is the main option for customers in places like New York and London. UberPOP was previously forced out of several European cities. But the withdrawl from Oslo was voluntary, and comes after weeks of turmoil in London – its most important regional foothold – where regulators have booted its entire taxi operation. They’re in appeals. But that humbling experience in Britain has likely forced Uber to tone down its traditionally aggressive business practices elsewhere.