Uber reaches deal in Czech Republic on licencing, tax

Prague (AFP) –


The Czech government said Monday it had reached a deal with ride-hailing service Uber that will see its drivers licensed like taxi drivers and data provided for tax purposes.

Billionaire Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told reporters in Prague that the San-Francisco based company had agreed to "share its data with the finance ministry" to improve tax collection.

"Uber has been in the Czech Republic since 2014 and its operations have essentially been illegal up to now," Babis added.

Czech taxi drivers, especially in the tourist-magnet capital Prague, have organised a string of protests over the last few months against what they argue is unfair competition from unlicensed Uber drivers.

According to Uber, it works with some 2,000 Czech drivers and around 400,000 passengers have downloaded its app in the Czech Republic, an EU country of 10.5 million people.

As Uber doesn't directly employ drivers, who are considered independent contractors, they pay less in taxes.

Ride-hailing services have met with protests in Europe and varying levels of resistance from authorities in cities around the world.