The company announced Monday that its Uber Pop service would be suspended indefinitely in Norway, reports news agency NTB.
“We would like to signal our intention to be regulated. We have said this for a long time,” Uber Norway director Carl Edvard Endresen told NTB.
Uber’s announcement comes shortly before the Norwegian Ministry of Transport is due to respond to a request by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)'s surveillance agency ESA on how it will regulate the ride-sharing service.
Norway’s current rules on the area create an obstacle to free trade, according to ESA.
The deadline for the ministry’s response is October 27th – three days before Uber is now scheduled to cease operations.
The Norwegian Taxi Association told NTB that it believes Uber should already have been prevented from operating in the Scandinavian country.
“This is illegal trade. [Announcing cessation of operations] is just a game in front of the gallery in an attempt to put pressure on the government when it gives its answer to ESA. An illegal business playing a game like this is, I think, outrageous,” the association’s operation manager Øystein Trevland told the news bureau.
Uber said that it hopes Norway will follow demands made by ESA, removing restrictions created by a number of current regulations on private transport, allowing an eventual return to the Norwegian market for the firm.
Endresen told NTB that he hopes the announcement would expedite that process by stressing to the ministry the serious nature of the issue.
He said that several factors suggested law changes were likely, including government parties having previously expressed their support for a law change and the unlikelihood of Norway wanting to leave EFTA.
Uber's traditional service, which uses normal vehicles, will be affected by the withdrawal. Limousine service Uber Black and heavy vehicle service Uber XXL are compliant with current laws and will continue to operate, reports NTB.
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