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Uber suspends unlicensed cab service in Finland

The American company is putting a pause on its UberPOP service in Finland until 2018, when a law deregulating the cab industry takes effect.


Uber is suspending its lowest-fare service in Finland until new taxi licensing laws take effect next year.

James Martin/CNET

Uber is hitting the brakes on its unlicensed UberPop ride service in Finland, at least until a law deregulating licensing requirements in the country comes into effect next year.

The move comes amid steady pressure from European cab companies, many of which have cried foul at Uber for launching a service that they say illegally skirts training and licensing in order to undercut the competition. Uber has already been forced to suspend its lowest-fare UberPop service in other parts of Europe following protests and legal struggles.

The new law in Finland will eliminate many of the licensing requirements competitors accuse Uber of ignoring, a change Uber seems to welcome. A company spokesperson tells CNET that Uber hopes to see other countries follow a similar path.

In the meantime, the licensed UberBlack service will continue to operate in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.  

"We want to focus on the future and we believe the best way to do so is to pause UberPop and relaunch in the summer of 2018," the spokesperson said in a written statement to CNET. "We are looking forward to operating under the new regulations as we see that they allow a new, fully modernized mobility market that will benefits riders, drivers and cities."

Uber also tells us that in the coming months it plans to share "concrete actions" to support drivers affected by the pause in business, and that it seeks to help them translate to the 2018 law "as seamlessly as possible."

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