updated 03:32 pm EDT, Thu July 10, 2014
Parking auction app suspends service before lawsuit threat deadline
MonkeyParking has temporarily halted its service in San Francisco, just one day before a deadline set by the City Attorney. The parking app, which allows drivers to sell their spot to others, was sent a cease-and-desist by the city late last month, with City Attorney Dennis Herrera threatening a lawsuit if it did not cease operations before July 11th.
At the time of the warning, MonkeyParking CEO Paolo Dobrowolny claimed that their parking service was not illegal, suggesting that new services of it's kind "should be regulated and not banned." The point of contention was the effective rental of public parking spaces, rather than the legal sale of private driveways and garage spaces. Accusing the app of creating a "predatory private market," Herrera claimed "We will not abide businesses that hold hostage on-street public parking spots for their own private profit."
In a statement spotted by Ars Technica, MonkeyParking advises its bidding service has been "temporarily disabled in the San Francisco area," and that it is "currently reviewing our service to clarify our value proposition and avoid any future misunderstandings," as well as working to "avoid any possible improper use" of the service in the city. "We want to achieve our mission within the intent and letter of the law and in full cooperation with the local authorities."
If MonkeyParking continued to operate, participants in the parking auctions faced fines of up to $300, with the company receiving a fine of $2,500 per violation.