Uber pulls out of Denmark citing tougher cab standards

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - The Danish branch of the ride-sharing service Uber said Tuesday it is shutting down its services in Denmark due to a proposed law that toughens standards for cabs.

Uber's spokesman in Denmark, Kristian Agerbo, said Uber which has been in Denmark since 2014, "must take the consequence" of the proposal demanding cabs and cars for hire must have seat occupancy sensors and meters. Agerbo said the proposal was "going in the wrong direction."

Uber will be ending its services in Denmark on April 18 but said it would retain a corporate presence in the Scandinavian country, where its engineers will continue to work on developing technology for the ride-sharing service worldwide.

In a statement, the company said "the proposed regulations need to change" for Uber to operate in Denmark.

"We will continue to work with the government in the hope that they will update their proposed regulations and enable Danes to enjoy the benefits of modern technologies like Uber," Agerbo said.

The country's transportation minister, Ole Birk Olesen, a keen supporter of Uber, was forced by other political parties to pen a proposal toughening standards on cab services.

"It is probably illegal in its current form," said Birk Olesen, adding, "I believe that we must be open to new technologies and innovative business models.

He called it "a pity" there was no majority to further liberalize Denmark's cab laws that "would have it easier for Uber and similar services to operate legally in Denmark."

The proposal was first presented in February and no date for a vote has so far been set.

Danish prosecutors have said that Uber, which is banned in several cities in Europe, is akin to an illegal taxi service and a court ruling is pending on the company's services. Uber has said some 2,000 people are "active drivers" in Denmark and some 300,000 people have downloaded the app.