Amendments to Road Transport Legislation and the Uber fiasco in Hungary
In 2016, the Hungarian government passed a bill on the legal consequences of unauthorised passenger transport by car (Law no. LXXV. of 2016).
The new regulation was implemented as a response to growing discontent on the side of taxi drivers, which launched a petition and protests against Uber denouncing unfair competition and tax avoidance. According to the new law, websites that offer illegal taxi services can be temporarily blocked for up to 365 days by the transport authority. The ban can be imposed in case the organiser or intermediary of the taxi service does not comply with the requirements specified in the related government decree. Additionally, the transport authority can impose a fine and ask the service provider to withdraw the car used for a period between 6 months and 3 years. This rule officially applies only to taxi services, which Uber claims not to be. The bill was passed as an attempt to reduce the grey area in which Uber operates and to support the taxi sector, which contests Uber’s flexible pricing system. As a consequence, Uber terminated its contracts with 400 drivers who had not obtained their passenger transport licenses. The Hungarian authorities proposed to Uber to register as a transport organising service provider, which Uber refused. Subsequently, Uber ceased operating in Hungary altogether. After Uber left Hungary, Taxify and Bolt started their operations and became the most significant platform businesses in the sector in the country to date.
Kahancová M, Meszmann & Sedláková M (2020). Precarization via Digitalization? Work Arrangements in the On-Demand Platform Economy in Hungary and Slovakia. Front Sociol. 2020; 5: 3. Published online 2020 Feb 26. doi: 10.3389/fsoc.2020.00003 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8022458/
Makó C, Illéssy M, Pap J & Nostrabadi S (2021). Emerging Platform Work in the Context of the Regulatory Loophole (The Uber Fiasco in Hungary). January 12, 2021. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3764851 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3764851
- On-location platform-determined routine work
- Bolt, Taxify, Uber