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Uber Suspends Operations In Spain Following Judge's Ruling

Uber ceased all operations in Spain on Tuesday but said they will appeal the court ruling.

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Updated – December 31, 2014 7:24 a.m.

Uber suspended its operations in Spain on Tuesday, the company confirmed.

Earlier this month a judge ordered the company to cease all its operations, accepting the measures proposed by the Madrid Taxi Association. The judge ruled that Uber drivers were competing unfairly with licensed taxi drivers.

In a blog post, Uber wrote that they will appeal the court ruling.

"Shielding existing incumbents from competition – as Spain's taxi regulations currently do– restricts drivers' economic opportunity, limits consumer choice and blocks innovation," the blog post states. "We will work tirelessly to develop a regulatory framework in Spain that embraces progress – as many jurisdictions have done in the past few months alone."

Updated – December 18, 2014 9:57 a.m.

Uber will continue operations in Bangkok, despite reports of the service being banned, the company said in a blog post.

"Over the last few weeks there have been numerous reports that Uber has ceased operations in Thailand. This is not true. Uber continues to operate and innovate in Thailand," the blog post reads. "We are pleased to share that over the last few weeks we have had the opportunity to hold constructive discussions with several key government agencies in Thailand including the Department of Land Transportation."

On December 9 it was reported that Thailand's Department of Land Transport Director-Genera, Thiraphong Rodprasert, ordered Uber to cease operations immediately.

The announcement came after Rodprasert met with officials from Uber and other similar companies such as GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi to discuss regulations on the cab-hailing services.

A Madrid judge banned Uber in Spain Tuesday, after a series of protests by the country's taxi associations against the San Francisco–based private cab app, El Pais reported.

PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP / Getty Images

A taxi driver sits in his car as he takes part in a protest against Uber in Madrid on Oct. 14.

The judge ordered Uber to cease all its operations in the country, accepting the measures proposed by the Madrid Taxi Association that said Uber drivers do not have official authorization to offer their services and were thereby competing unfairly with licensed taxi drivers.

El Pais reported that Uber had no license or insurance for putting passengers and drivers in touch and keeping 20% of the fare.

The judge's ruling came ahead of a court case the taxi association is planning to file against Uber.

Since Uber first began operating in Barcelona in April, taxi drivers protested against the American company deeming it unfair competition. Uber also began operating in Madrid in April and Valencia in October.

The judge took the cautionary measures without hearing Uber's arguments, El Pais reported.

Thailand's Department of Transport ordered Uber to cease its operations, saying that its drivers were not registered or insured to drive commercial vehicles and the company's credit card system did not comply with regulations, Al Jazeera America reported.

The ban in Spain and Thailand comes a day after New Delhi blacklisted the services of Uber in the country's capital after an Uber taxi driver allegedly raped a 25-year-old woman in the vehicle.

The New Delhi government said the company was banned for "misleading customers" by using vehicles that did not have all-India permits.

Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at maryann.georgantopoulos@buzzfeed.com.

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