Top European court rules Uber is a 'transport service'

Top European court rules Uber is a 'transport service'

Top European court rules Uber is a 'transport service'

Uber has been dealt a blow by the European Court of Justice (ECJ)'s latest ruling the company is legally a transport firm and not a digital company. The group argued that it was unfair that Uber did not have to adhere to the same rules it did while operating in the city, when Uber ran a peer-to-peer service called UberPop, which linked non-professional drivers with riders.

The San Francisco-based Uber contends it should be regulated as an information services provider because it is based on a mobile application that links passengers to drivers.

"The European Court of Justice ruled after a complaint brought by an association of professional taxi drivers in Spain".

It has been allowed to keep operating in London for the duration of the legal process, after Uber lodged an appeal against the decision in October.

Uber had denied it was a transport company, arguing instead it was a computer services business with operations that should be subject to an European Union directive governing e-commerce and prohibiting restrictions on the establishment of such organisations, the Guardian reported.

While the EU's final decision isn't inherently surprising, it could have major implications for how Uber and other gig economy startups are regulated throughout Europe.

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Uber is facing more regulatory hurdles in Europe. However, millions of Europeans are still prevented from using apps like ours. The court rejected Uber's.

In a dense legal judgement, the ECJ said that Uber was a service that connects "by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys".

Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania are the only countries where the company still offers such peer-to-peer services, and where Wednesday's ruling might have a direct impact. In France, for example, Uber's low-priced service involving independent, unregulated drivers is banned, but Uber operates a popular ride service involving licensed drivers that competes with traditional taxis.

"The service provided by Uber is more than an intermediation service", the ruling stated. But the highest court in the European Union isn't having it. The ruling could also affect other companies that are making similar claims of being only an intermediary service and not an active participant in the industry they're trying to disrupt. "But it's reflective of European attitudes toward change and innovation".

Uber has had a roller-coaster year that also included the ouster of its CEO, sexual harassment allegations and the revelation that it covered up a massive breach of customers' data. "Member States can therefore regulate the conditions for providing that service".

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