Colombia fines Uber nearly $145,000 for 'unauthorized' operations

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  March 8, 2016 at 12:38 PM
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BOGOTA, March 8 (UPI) -- Uber, the global ride-sharing giant, was fined nearly $145,000 by Colombia for operating without permission as the government encourages use of taxi services.

Colombia's Ports and Transportation Administration, which regulates public transportation, found Uber and its drivers to be "unauthorized" meaning its services have been "provided under irregular conditions."

Pablo Arteaga, chief of the Ports and Transportation Administration, encouraged Colombians to use "authorized public services" such as taxis and buses, Colombia's El Tiempo reported.

"The sanctioned party violated regulations to the extent that, as has been shown, its technology enables it to offer service without authorization and without fulfilling the requirements laid down by the transportation sector," Arteaga Monday said in a statement.

The fine of 451 million Colombian pesos, about $142,000, cannot be appealed because it enforces a previous decision made by the agency, which began investigating Uber's operating methods in November 2014.

Uber, which has offered services for more than two years in Colombia, said it will continue to operate in the country.

"Uber has not been notified about the Ports and Transportation Administration's decision. We will analyze its content and act accordingly, respecting the country's institutionalism and taking the matter to court as the law allows," Uber, headquartered in San Fransico, Calif., said in a statement.

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