October 19, 2017 / 11:22 AM / a year ago

Analysts at Brazil antitrust watchdog suggest shelving Uber probe

BRASILIA, Oct 19 (Reuters) - A technical team at Brazil antitrust watchdog Cade has recommended shelving a probe into Uber for alleged unfair competition in the country, according to a note published in the official government gazette on Thursday.

Cade opened the investigation after a congressional committee argued in 2015 that the company was operating in violation of the law due to a lack of municipal regulation.

Cade acknowledged in the technical note the ongoing discussion in Brazil about the legality of private ride-hailing applications.

“Due to the nonexistence of sufficient evidence of a breach of the economic order and, in addition, Cade’s lack of competence to analyze the controversy presented, it is suggested that this administrative inquiry be archived,” Cade said in the technical note.

The note said archiving the probe does not preclude future investigations in the face of new evidence.

Brazil’s Senate could vote next week on a bill that would force drivers of online services such as Uber and Cabify to get licenses from local city authorities and have taxi number plates on their cars. A spokesman for Uber said the bill would make the Uber business model “nonnviable” in Brazil. (Reporting by Raquel Stenzel and Anthony Boadle; Writing by Jake Spring; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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