Top EU court: Uber should be considered a transport company

The EU's top court has decided Uber is a taxi company after all

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Uber, who previously claimed they were a computer services business, are in fact a transport services company and will need to comply with the correct regulations.

Licensed taxi drivers meanwhile often have to undergo hundreds of hours of training, and they accuse Uber of endangering their jobs by using cheaper drivers who rely only on a Global Positioning System to get around.

In a situation... where passengers are transported by non-professional drivers using their own vehicle, the provider of that intermediation service simultaneously offers urban transport services, which it renders accessible, in particular, through software tools such as the application at issue in the main proceedings and whose general operation it organises for the benefit of persons who wish to accept that offer in order to make an urban journey. For Uber the decision means that Member State courts will likely be more inclined to regard its drivers as conventional workers, rather than upholding the arms-length relationship it now maintains with its drivers.

Uber - which has clashed with local and national regulators in Europe since its launch there six years ago - had argued it was simply a digital app that acted as an intermediary between drivers and customers looking for a ride and so ought to fall under lighter European Union rules for online services.

The ruling also stated that "Consequently, such a service must be excluded from the scope of the freedom to provide services in general as well as the directive on services in the internal market and the directive on electronic commerce".

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The court said in a statement that services like Uber must be classified as "a service in the field of transport".

'However, millions of Europeans are still prevented from using apps like ours'.

The case was brought by a taxi drivers' association in the Spanish city of Barcelona, where belief runs high that Uber is a taxi company that should be subject to rules governing such vehicles. "This is the approach we'll take to ensure everyone can get a reliable ride at the tap of a button". Aside from hiring Dara Khosrowshahi, the company doesn't have much to show for itself, other than a slew of scandals. "Member states can, therefore, regulate the conditions for providing that service".

"Almost all taxi and private hire drivers in the United Kingdom have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed".

Early previous year it chose to only operate a limited a version of its UberX service in Spain which uses licensed, professional drivers instead of the amateurs who had previously worked via the UberPop application.


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