By next week, Uber Italy will have to disable the app Uber Black, which provides unregulated drivers in Milan and Rome. Roman judges ordered Uber to shut down its Lux, Suv, Van and other services as well, killing off the last survivors of a decision in a Milan court, upheld in Turin, that outlawed the weapon of mass destruction for drivers: Uber Pop, which allowed anyone with a vehicle to become a professional driver without a license. The new ban is valid throughout Italy.
The order is the latest episode of a battle to the death between the American digital multinational and associations of taxi drivers. The court in Rome sided with an urgent appeal from the associations, assisted by a large team of lawyers. In the coming weeks, a civil case will continue, but for the moment Uber will have to suspend its activities.
For Uber, the ruling deals a serious blow to one of the principles of liberal capitalism, regulating “the competition” for non-scheduled public transportation. The “app economy” giant led by Travis Kalanick, valued at greater than $50 billion, is likely to lose, at least in Italy, in its aspirations for “disruption,” the theory of innovation favored by the champions of the new capitalism.