Italian court overturns Uber ban

The logo of Uber is seen on an iPad, during a news conference to announce Uber resumes ride-hailing service, in Taipei, Taiwan April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

ROME (Reuters) - A Rome court annulled a short-lived ban on ride-hailing app Uber on Friday in the latest twist to a battle between the San Francisco-based multinational and Italy’s traditional taxi cabs.

A lower court had already ordered temporary suspension of the ban, which was imposed in April and affected several Uber phone applications and prevented it from advertising its services in Italy.

“We are happy to announce that you will be able to keep using our app in Italy”, Uber Italy tweeted after Friday’s ruling.

Italian taxi drivers, who operate under rigid regulation, say they are being penalized by little-monitored apps such as those offered by Uber, which allow users to connect with the nearest drivers via smartphones.

Angry drivers went on a six-day strike in February to protest the growth of the apps and increasingly popular chauffeured limousines.

The Italian government has promised to introduce clearer rules governing competition between conventional taxis and rival road transport services by the end of this year.

“We are thrilled for the thousands of drivers and riders who can continue using Uber in Italy,” an Uber spokesman said on Friday. “However, Italy now needs to reform its outdated laws so that all its citizens and cities can benefit from modern technology.”

Reporting by Isla Binnie and Gavin Jones; Editing by David Goodman