back to article Uber's double Dutch moment: Cops raid offices a second time

Ride-booking app-maker Uber once again finds itself in the crosshairs of police in the Netherlands for breaking taxi laws. The Dutch Public Prosecution Service said on Tuesday that cops raided Uber's Amsterdam office as part of an ongoing crackdown against the California upstart for operating unlicensed taxis. The plod also …

  1. Camilla Smythe

    Strikes me as being rather atypical..

    Companies flouting local laws in the expectation they will ultimately get away with it and be permitted to carry on or at least not suffer any retrospective action if they are not.

    1. John Tserkezis

      Re: Strikes me as being rather atypical..

      "Companies flouting local laws in the expectation they will ultimately get away with it"

      Our government does it all the time. Our tax departement does it all the time. Our Police do it all the time. The EPA does it all the time. Private corporations do it all the time (VW anyone?).

      What's your point again? I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying it's odd you sound surprised.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Strikes me as being rather atypical..

      Give it time and hang around us and you'll end up as cynical as the rest of us. Or maybe you were being cynical.... hmm.... have a beer then.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strikes me as being rather atypical..

      Part of the complexity of systems of law is the humans, as a group, are always trying to find a way to do as they damned well pleased. This isn't necessarily a good or bad thing since building method upon method got us this far as a civilization. [Unless you believe we should scrap civilization.] Loopholing "the system" is what we actually do best. whether we discussing nature or political-economy.

      1. Vic

        Re: Strikes me as being rather atypical..

        Unless you believe we should scrap civilization

        We'd have to create it first...


  2. Zmodem

    london has the same thing you rent someones car instead

  3. Charles Manning


    How about they hassle Tinder for cutting into hooker turf?

    pun apology.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The article picture is wrong

    Uber is *certainly* not a limo service. The right picture It would be more an old rust bucket from which two tired tourists are trying to extract their far too large mountain rucksacks, with the driver holding the whole door in his hands as it just came off the hinges.

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    If it's the Netherlands, surely Uber 'taxis' are just tandems because everyone rides around on bicycles or is that just stereotyping by the media?

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      "surely Uber 'taxis' are just tandems "

      90% and more of the locals use bicycles and public transport to get around. However Amsterdam is a big tourist and business center, so many locals who need to travel for work have cars, and most of the visitors will be using taxis.

      Incidentally, traffic in Amsterdam is set up to prioritise 1) bicycles and pedestrians 2) public transport and 3) private vehicles. Driving in a private vehicle is a hell consisting of constant red lights while everyone else gets priority. However, real (ie licensed) taxis are allowed to use the lanes reserved for trams/buses and can 'go' on the tram 'go' signal without needing to wait for the green light for normal traffic. So it makes sense for Uber drivers to get a taxi license and fast-track themselves.

  6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    It's irrelevent if it's a private car or not, if the juristiction has laws that state that a vehicle-for-hire must be licensed, and the driver driving it must be licensed, then they must be licensed. The Rule Of Law is founded on you NOT being able to pick and chose what laws you obey. Go ahead, get a license and charge less than other taxis, if that's your Unique Product then customers will come flocking to you. But if you are wanting to carry members of the public, then you shall f****g well comply with the laws that are their to protect those memebrs of the public.

    And, yes, I'm fully in favour of civil disobedience to protest against laws that you believe should not exist, but the whole point of civil disobedience us that going to prison is a part of the breaking the perceived unjust law.

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Agree. I have no ethical problem with not respecting a stupid law; but you have to be prepared to pay the price for not respecting that law. It is only if enough people are prepared to pay that price that the stupid law will be repealed.

      1. DropBear

        "It is only if enough people [...] the stupid law will be repealed"

        Awesome! When can we expect copyright getting scrapped then? Next Tuesday sounds fine...

    2. Nehmo

      Obsolete Definition

      We modern civil disobedients don't subscribe to that antiquated definition. If you can get away with it, that's cool. Then you can be disobedient another day.

      The goal is to win - not die.

  7. DainB Bronze badge

    In other news

    Uber legalized in Canberra today.

    1. Michael Thibault

      Re: In other news

      I sense that somewhere further down this road is the real pay-day, in the form of restraint-of-trade suits.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pass the dutchie on the left hand side...

    ....straight to jail for the CEO?

    Do not collect 200 Euros.

  9. James Micallef Silver badge

    Weasel words

    ""Uber will of course continue to cooperate with the Dutch authorities on this ongoing investigation into uberPOP."

    Seems to me like you are currently deliberately and flagrantly violating a court order that rued against you in 2014, that's not what I call cooperation is it?

    "Naturally we dispute the allegations as the legal status of uberPOP continues to be debated in court..."

    No, the court has already ruled against you in 2014. Just because you are appealing that ruling doesn't mean that the current legal status is 'illegal'

    "... and the underlying law is under legislative review"

    just because a law is under review does not mean you are free to disregard it. Feel free to comply with the new law once it's been passed through the Dutch parliament. In the meantime, you need to comply with the current law.

    Currently many taxi-related laws (eg quotas) are in place to protect current incumbents. Others (such as licenses issued based on a minimum standard of safety, cleanliness, insurance etc) are in place to protect passengers. While it is necessary and desirable to update relevant laws to weed out the bits protecting incumbents while keeping the bits protecting passengers, you don't get to flout the law just because you have a smartphone app

  10. Sanctimonious Prick

    Oh For Crying Out Bloody Loud!

    I can understand the haters, and those that oppose Uber, but for farqs sake... this is about institutions. The taxi industry being one of them, seemingly, all over the world (or wherever Uber get resistance).

    I effing hate taxis in Sydney! I asked a taxi driver who was blaring an AM sports channel if we could change it to JJJ. "No," was his answer. So I told the driver to just let us out then. He declined, but drove us back to where he picked us up from. Now, it clearly states that the passenger gets to choose which radio station is played on the radio, clearly, right in front of the passenger, there is a sign about my rights, my responsibilities, and those of the taxi driver. I am in charge of the fucking radio when I pay you drive me around, right!!

    And then there's the taxi driver who asks, "which route should we take?" "Erm, the quickest."

    Then there's the taxi driver who's constantly talking on their mobile phone, almost, seemingly, whispering, in another language. Like fuck, man - pay attention to the road. Get off the phone!

    Then there's the taxi driver who truly goes the longest route. Driver knows it. I know it. What's the result? I get into an argument with the taxi driver and I get out. Girlfriend pays the full inflated fare. Girlfriend and I fight for the rest of the evening.

    Good luck, Uber. You are a breath of fresh air to the (at least) Sydney taxi industry.

  11. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Yup, taxis suck

    Here in central Florida, we have 7 or 8 taxi companies that all use the same outsourced iPhone/Android app... which insists on giving the wrong address 50% of the time.

    I can have it pull my address from the GPS or the maps app, set up the pickup, and then see it's some random place not remotely related. Of course then you get black-flagged for screwing around and then they no longer accept pickups through the app and insist on a session of "WHAT DID YOU SAY?" over the phone on a noisy street.

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