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|20 March, 2018

Egypt court orders suspension of Uber, Careem licences- judicial sources

The case was initially filed by Egyptian taxi drivers.

A new white taxi drives along a road in downtown Cairo, December 16, 2010.

A new white taxi drives along a road in downtown Cairo, December 16, 2010.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany

CAIRO- An Egyptian court ordered on Tuesday the suspension of licences for ride-hailing companies Uber and Careem after taxi drivers filed a lawsuit seeking to shutdown operations of the two firms in Egypt, judicial sources said.

The case was taken up in April last year, said Khalid al-Jamal, a lawyer acting for the taxi drivers who filed the case.

The case against the two companies argued that the ride-hailing services were illegally using private cars as taxis.

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Tuesday's decision was effective immediately, meaning the companies must suspend services pending a final ruling, but it can be appealed within 60 days, the judicial sources said.

It was not immediately clear when a final ruling would be issued on the case.

Careem said it had not yet received any official request to stop operations in Egypt, and continued to operate as normal. Uber issued no immediate response.

Uber said last year it was committed to Egypt despite challenges presented by sweeping economic reforms and record inflation. Uber in October announced $20 million of investment in its new support centre in Cairo.

The San Francisco-based company has had to make deals with local car dealerships to provide its drivers with affordable vehicles and adjust its ride prices to ensure its workers were not hit too hard by inflation.

Uber had 2 million users in Egypt in 2016, giving jobs to 60,000 drivers, it said.

(Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Haitham Ahmed Editing by Catherine Evans and Edmund Blair) ((John.Davison@thomsonreuters.com;))