Ride-hailing service Uber will suspend its operations in Budapest effective July 24 in response to government legislation that the company says will make it impossible for it to operate. Zoltán Fekete, the operative director for Uber’s business in Hungary, told a press conference on Wednesday that under the legislation entering into force this month, Uber drivers could have their driving licences revoked and their car number plates removed even if they have all the permits required to provide their service. Now, this latter statement is either a blatant lie or something is really wrong with the legislation. At first glance it seems to be the former, because if you have all your permits required to provide a service then you usually don’t have to face such dire consequences. But I’m supposed to be a journalist, so I checked the law and it still seems to be the former. I have said it a few times before: just because you are calling your service something else, it doesn’t make it something else. Uber is a taxi service and the new legislation creates the legal framework for penalising those acting as a taxi service but doing so without permits. Essentially: if Uber has all the necessary permits, they are free to conduct their business. Sure, adhering to the rules would make the service more expensive and less profitable. But if we start allowing everybody to conduct their business however they please then chaos will rule the world. I’m not against technology, I do believe that taxi companies could do their job a lot better and I also believe that Uber could force them to do so. But first they have to learn to play by the rules.