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July 29, 2014

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San Francisco says app can’t be used to auction public parking spaces

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has issued a cease-and-desist demand to a mobile app called Monkey Parking, which allows people to auction off public parking spaces that they're using to other nearby drivers.

Herrera issued a letter to Paolo Dobrowolny, the CEO of the Rome, Italy-based tech startup on Monday. The letter also asks tech giant Apple to immediately remove the application from its app store. The startup began operating in San Francisco in April.

Herera cites a provision in San Francisco's police code that prohibits people and companies from buying, selling or leasing public on-street parking.

The city attorney is giving the company until July 11 to shut down its operations in San Francisco or possibly face a lawsuit under California's Unfair Competition Law.

In an email, Dobrowolny says he is talking with his legal staff and didn't immediately have a comment.

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