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Mobile taxi booking service Uber has been ordered by a judge in Spain to stop operating its UberPop service in the country.
The judge who issued a temporary ban said Uber drivers no longer have official authorisation and accused the service of “unfair competition”. He said Uber were not complying with the norms of governing the taxi service market.
The move follows a complaint by the Madrid Taxi Association against UberPop – a cheaper service to normal Uber that lets any individual sign up to become a driver rather than professionals.
The technology firm described the decision as “highly unusual”.
"UberPop is our ride-sharing solution and is about sharing the costs of vehicle ownership and helping people give up their cars," an Uber spokesman told the BBC, "and we will continue to run the service".
"This ruling is inconsistent with broad political acknowledgement in Spain and across the European Union on the benefits of sharing economy services.
"Uber will continue to comply with Spanish law and is currently assessing its legal options under this sudden and unusual proceeding," the spokesman added.
The decision comes after similar bans in India, Netherlands, Germany, Thailand and in the US city of Portland. There have also been protests against the San-Francisco based firm in London and South Korea.
As of August last year Uber operated in 45 countries including more than 200 cities and was recently valued at $40 billion.