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South Korea prosecutors indict local Uber subsidiary: Yonhap

[SEOUL] South Korean prosecutors have indicted the local subsidiary of US taxi-hailing service provider Uber for violating a law governing public transport, Yonhap News Agency reported on Wednesday.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office issued an indictment - which also named Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick - for violating a law prohibiting individuals or firms without appropriate licences from providing or facilitating transportation services, Yonhap reported, citing an unnamed prosecution official.

Prosecutors will not make any arrests as part of the indictment, Yonhap said. The penalty for breaking the law in question is a maximum fine of 20 million won (US$18,121) or a prison sentence of up to two years, the news agency reported.

Uber, through its apps, charges fees to play matchmaker for passengers and drivers - some registered as taxi drivers. But a lack of regulation for the relatively new business model has brought Uber to the attention of authorities worldwide.

Last week, Seoul's city legislature passed a measure to fine Uber drivers not registered as taxi drivers, and offer financial reward for those reporting such drivers.

The prosecutors' office declined to comment on the Yonhap report. An Uber spokeswoman was checking the veracity of the report and said Uber services were functioning as normal.