Having a judge declare your company’s primary business illegal is a bracing motivation to try out a Plan B.
That explains why in Spain the prime business of Uber Technologies, best known for turning private cars into improvised taxis with its rider-driver matching app, is delivering salmon burgers.
“It’s a lot of effort to build a platform for the collaborative economy. Once you’ve gotten the chicken-egg things solved, you’ve got to use it,” says Sandra Sieber, an information systems professor at Barcelona’s IESE Business School.
Uber has had a difficult time with European regulators in general. The company’s Spanish squabble began last December, when a judge ordered the company to shutter its low-cost ride-share service, UberPop, because it did not comply with local laws.
At first, Uber looked to sign up more licensed car-service chauffeurs, like the kind who work for its UberBlack service in the U.S…
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