Dutch inspectorate gives Uber €650,000 fine

The Netherlands' Environment and Transport Inspectorate issued a 650 thousand euro fine to Uber for violating the Taxi Act. This amount is a remnant of ap reviously imposed fine of 1 million euros for the controversial service UberPOP. According to the inspectorate, Uber gave unlicensed taxi drivers the opportunity to engage in illegelal lease agreements with cmopanies that do have taxi licenses, NU.nl reports.

A taxi permit costs 1,500 euros. Uber used its website to link unlicensed taxi drivers to various companies that make it possible to share such a liscense. The drivers then offered their services through the Uber app.

But according to the Inspectorate, using the licese of another requires an employee-employer or freelancer-employer type relationship. What Uber did was therefore illegal. 

"We were under the assumption that the partnership used by drivers is an accepted structure, since it has long been widely applied in the Dutch taxi industry", a spokesperson for Uber said on Wednesday, according to the newspaper. "We are very surprised by the Inspectorate's allegations." Uber removed the link to the companies from its website.

Uber was previously given 350 thousand euros in fines for using unlicensed taxi drivers for its service UberPOP. That service is no longer active in the Netherlands. Uber now only uses licensed taxi drivers in the country.