Top EU Court Rules Uber Is A Taxi Service

22 December, 2017, 01:29 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Uber has faced roadblocks real and regulatory in the region amid complaints brought by taxi drivers who say the company tries to unfairly avoid regulations that bind established competitors

Nonetheless, Uber maintains that it will continue to pursue dialogue with various cities in the region to ensure that as many people as possible can use the app. But the judgment dashes any hopes of regulatory rollback in those jurisdictions and could embolden regulators to impose more onerous restrictions on the company.

These drivers claimed to be workers, and said Uber had failed to comply with its legal obligations to provide them with national minimum wage and holiday rights, and that a driver was dismissed for raising a complaint about the risk of drivers using false insurance documents. It argued that it should be regulated under the EU's digital services laws. Even so, the tech giant has long maintained that they're not, in fact, a transportation company.

The Luxembourg-based court was ruling on a case brought by a Spanish taxi drivers' association which complained that Uber is able to circumvent expensive licensing requirements imposed on traditional taxi services by local authorities.

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Many taxi drivers saw Wednesday's court decision as an important symbolic victory, The Washington Post reported.

In short, this means Uber will now be officially recognised as a cab company rather than a technology company.

While acknowledging Uber's status as an intermediary service between drivers and riders, the court ruled that because Uber's objective "is to connect, by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration, non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys, [Uber] must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as "a service in the field of transport" within the meaning of European Union law".

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But Uber insists the ruling won't affect how the company operates."This ruling will not change things in most European Union countries where we already operate under transportation law", an Uber spokesperson said, in a statement shared with Gizmodo and other outlets. "This is a blow to the EU's ambition of building an integrated digital single market". Uber ran a peer-to-peer service there called UberPop, which linked nonprofessional drivers with riders.

The ruling is specifically relating the UberPop-a service that permits unlicensed drivers to pick up passengers at affordable rates-this service could have an influence on the future of Europe's economy. It's the second major hire by Uber's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, who in October appointed Tony West - PepsiCo Inc.'s general counsel and a former U.S. Justice Department official - as chief legal officer.

Instead, it's an app that acts an intermediary between drivers and customers looking for rides.

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The government in Karnataka had issued rules which among other things, made it mandatory for ride-hailing services to get a permit before operating in the state. A similar program that limited drive time to 12 hours was tried in New York City, according to reports.


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