Uber must adhere to transport regulations, says European Court of Justice

Uber Suffers Major Setback After Europe Court Rules It's a Taxi Service

Uber's UK operation 'not affected' by European ruling on transport regulation

That, in a nutshell, is what the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said of Uber, the ride-hailing app, in a judgment yesterday.

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.

Uber has taken the fight to regulators and established taxi and cab companies, expanding from a Silicon Valley start-up to a business with a valuation of $68 billion.

Responding the ruling, GMB union general secretary, Tim Roache, said: "GMB welcomes this decision, which confirms that Uber is, as we have always said, a transport company".

"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".

S Africa's ANC picks Ramaphosa as leader
There were jubilant scenes at the ANC conference after it was announced Ramaphosa (left) had won. Mr Ramaphosa was widely considered the sensible choice in the election.

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.

The ruling is not likely to have an immediate impact on Uber's operations in Europe, where it already operates under local transportation laws and has cut back its use of unlicensed services such as UberPOP.

"Uber can thus be required to obtain the necessary licences and authorisations under national law", he said.

The decision by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice in theory applies to ride-hailing services around the 28-nation EU.

"Uber's activity must be viewed as a whole encompassing both the service of connecting passengers and drivers with one another by means of the smartphone application and the supply of transport itself, which constitutes, from an economic perspective, the main component", the ruling explained.

Chrome is Going to Start Blocking Bad Ads on February 15
If they do not, however, it is likely they never intended their ad blocker to do much blocking of ads in the first place. It's different from third-party ad blockers that block all ads indiscriminately.

The court also pointed out that Uber exercises "decisive influence" over the conditions under which drivers provide their services. Its hallmark low-priced service - hooking up unlicensed freelance drivers with riders via an app - is already banned in many European cities, and instead Uber's services are much like taxis, just more flexible and sometimes cheaper.

"This ruling will not change things in most European Union countries where we already operate under transportation law", an Uber spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

"The service provided by Uber is more than an intermediation service", the ruling stated.

In the U.S., Uber and competitors such as Lyft are governed by a patchwork of state and city regulations.

The EU ruling is separate from a string of ongoing legal challenges Uber has faced around the world, including in Britain, where authorities don't want to renew its license, citing a lack of corporate responsibility.

Toys R Us faces collapse with loss of all 3200 United Kingdom jobs
Struggling retailer Toys R Us could go into administration after being told to plough millions of pounds into its pension fund. We have yet to decide how the creditor rights will be exercised in the CVA vote.

Latest News