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UberPOP driven out of Netherlands
[THE HAGUE] The controversial ride-sharing service UberPOP is to stop operations in the Netherlands almost a year after it was declared illegal in the country.
"We have decided to stop UberPOP although the service has led to some interesting findings on the possibilities for the future of mobility," the US-based Uber said in a statement.
Last December Dutch judges banned the company's low-cost UberPOP service, which lets private car drivers offer taxi services via smartphone.
Prosecutors in April announced they had opened a criminal probe into Uber in light of the court ruling.
Other Uber services, such as more expensive UberX, which requires drivers to be professionally licensed, and its premium service UberBLACK will continue to be offered.
In September, France's highest court confirmed a ban on UberPOP, which has infuriated licensed cab drivers in countries where it operates.
According to Dutch media, the Netherlands parliament will introduce new legislation next year concerning the taxi market.
According to an UberPOP spokesman, cited in Dutch media, the decision to quit the Netherlands was made because the debate had become focussed on that part of the business "although we offer many services".
Uber is one of the most visible start-ups in California's Silicon Valley, with a market value of US$50 billion. It is present in 340 cities with three million trips taken daily, according to the company's latest figures.