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Taxi Drivers Across Europe Planning Huge Protests Against Uber

Drivers in cities such as London and Milan are planning to bring traffic to a halt at tourist sites and shopping centers to protest competition from the ride-hailing app

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More than 30,000 taxi drivers are planning to cause traffic jams across a number of European cities on Wednesday to pressure lawmakers into more strictly regulating Uber, the San Francisco–based car-service app that cab drivers say is threatening their business.

Uber drivers are not required to have the same licenses taxi drivers do. Those licenses can cost €200,000, or about $270,000 each, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Of the 128 cities Uber services, 20 of them are in Europe, where similar protests have gotten ugly before — one in Paris earlier this year ended with broken windshields.

“European cities have tended to regulate taxi drivers much more than the U.S.,” Eurasia Group analyst Charles Lichfield told Businessweek. “I do think the protests have a better chance of succeeding.”

Uber, which said its latest funding round pushed the company to a $17 billion valuation, promised to carry on despite the protests.

“While the taxi protests may seek to bring Europe to a standstill,” the company said in a statement, “we’ll be on hand to get our riders from A to B.”

[Bloomberg Businessweek]

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