THE NEWS WRAP: Dutch prosecutors launch criminal investigation into Uber
Dutch authorities have launched a criminal investigation into Uber because the company is providing an illegal taxi service that violates a court order, according to Reuters.
The investigation is the latest setback for the ridesharing service in Europe. Last month a German court issued a nationwide ban on unlicensed taxi drivers with fines of up to $300,000 for violating the law.
The move saw Uber bowing to pressure and agreeing to pay for transport licences for its UberX drivers.
To date Dutch police have fined 23 Uber drivers more than $2000 for operating without a licence. In Australia, unregistered taxi drivers can attract fines of up to $7500.
French senate supports law requiring Google to reveal its algorithm
The French senate has supported a law that would require search engines to reveal their algorithms in order to ensure fair and non-discriminatory search results, according to TechCrunch.
The chamber’s amendments to a draft economy bill could also see search engines forced to include a minimum of three rivals on the first page of search results. Google, which owns an overwhelming chunk of the search engine market, has always kept its search algorithm top secret.
The draft legislation comes at a time when Google is coming under tough scrutiny in Europe for allegedly abusing its dominance of the internet to the detriment of competitors.
The French upper house will vote on the legislation and its amendments next month before it has the opportunity to be passed into law.
WhatsApp reaches 800 million users worldwide
Messaging platform WhatsApp has reached 800 million monthly users.
The company’s current rate of growth puts it on track to reach one billion users by the end of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The messaging app has grown by 100 million active monthly users every four months since August 2014.
Facebook purchased WhatsApp last year for just over $28 billion.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 279.47 points, falling 1.54% to 17,826.30. The Aussie dollar is currently trading at around 78 US cents.
Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.