SAO PAULO, April 29 (Reuters) - A Brazilian court has issued an injunction suspending the U.S-based online taxi service Uber, the latest setback for the company after several countries took similar steps in recent months.
The State Court of Sao Paulo ruled on Tuesday that Uber, which allows users to summon a ride with their smartphones, was in violation of local transportation laws regulating the use of taxis.
The injunction ordered Uber to cease operations immediately and to ensure the app is no longer available for download from the online stores of Google, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft.
Failure to comply will result in a fine of 100,000 reais ($34,130) per day, up to a limit of 5 million reais, the court ruled.
An Uber press representative in Brazil declined to comment. The Brazilian press offices of Google, Samsung, Microsoft and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Uber drivers are private citizens who use their own cars to pick up the service’s customers. The drivers do not have to pay steep taxi license fees and they bypass local laws, leaving Brazil’s taxi companies crying foul over unfair competition.
The world’s most valuable venture-backed startup with a valuation of about $40 billion, Uber is facing legal challenges across Europe and the United States, where local taxi drivers have taken to the streets and courts to fight it.
Last month, a German court banned Uber from running services using unlicensed cab drivers and set stiff fines for any violations by Uber of local transport laws.
$1 = 2.93 Brazilian reais Reporting by Asher Levine, Alberto Alerigi and Brad Haynes; Editing by Ted Botha