STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc, the company behind the popular ride-hailing service, was dealt its latest setback in Europe on Wednesday, saying it would suspend its UberPOP service in two cities in Sweden following court rulings deeming its drivers illegal.
Uber [UBER.UL] has also been forced to suspend the service, which relies on non-professional drivers using their own vehicles, in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
"Our pilot has successfully tested ridesharing in Sweden, however clearer regulation is needed before it can be taken further," Alok Alstrom, general manager for Uber in Sweden, said in a statement.
A March 23 decision by an appeals court in Stockholm upheld one of several rulings in lower courts that UberPOP drivers were breaking the law by driving without taxi permits.
Uber said it hoped it could relaunch the service soon. Its final UberPOP offerings in Stockholm and Gothenburg will run on May 18.
The San Francisco-based company's more expensive UberX service, which uses professionally licensed drivers, will continue to operate in five Swedish cities.
(Story refiles to correct to read Wednesday in paragraph 1.)
(Reporting by Mia Shanley and Daniel Dickson; editing by Niklas Pollard)