BRASILIA, April 4 Brazil's Lower House of
Congress voted on Tuesday to give cities greater power to
regulate ride-hailing app Uber and other transportation apps,
paving the way for local governments to charge taxes, require
insurance and pension benefits for drivers.
In a symbolic vote, a majority of lawmakers approved the
main text of the bill and continued to vote on specific items
such as allowing municipalities to charge for licenses. Once
those amendments are voted on, the bill still needs to clear the
Although its overall impact is not immediately clear ,the
legislation could increase the cost of the ride-hailing app in
Latin America's biggest consumer market.
Brazilian taxi unions and many politicians have accused Uber
of unfair competition, triggering protests by taxi drivers in
some cities and even attacks against Uber drivers.
Adding to Uber's woes in Brazil, Spanish rival Cabify
earlier on Tuesday announced an investment of $200 million to
bolster its participation in South America's largest country.
Before the vote, Uber said in a statement that the
bill sought to prohibit such ride-hailing apps in Brazil by
turning them into conventional taxi operators.
An Uber spokesman also said the company would comment once
all the amendments are voted in the Lower House.
(Reporting by Alonso Soto)