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Uber Should Be Considered As A Transport Company

22 December 2017, 12:56 | Sammy Green

Uber Should Be Considered As A Transport Company

EU rules Uber a transport service, not digital company

But the European Court of Justice's ruling, which defines Uber as a transport firm that must now comply with existing safety and other rules, opens a breach in that line of defense, encouraging national governments to pursue additional cases against the firm.

"It was about time to put an end to the unfair competition of the gig economy companies that are no more than killer whales in a fish tank", Lopez said.

In the latest of a series of legal battles, Uber had argued it was simply a digital app that acted as an intermediary between drivers and customers looking for a ride and so should fall under lighter European Union rules for online services.

The Barcelona-based law firm representing Elite Taxi, the association that filed the lawsuit, also hailed the ruling.

Uber is now a transport services company in the European Union, according to a landmark ruling by the European court of justice as reported by CNBC.

Tech industry critics have argued that powerful platform companies, such as Uber, Lyft and TaskRabbit have skirted their responsibilities to the public and to their workers. Sundararajan said the court could have urged parliament to chart a new path for ride-hailing services, recognizing that the classic employer-employee relationship might not work for innovative business models.

Uber has taken the fight to regulators and established taxi and cab companies, expanding from a Silicon Valley startup to a business with a valuation of $68 billion. What's more, for European cities that have capped the number of professional drivers or that mandate costly requirements for driver certification, the ruling could harm consumers seeking high-quality, low-priced rides, he said.

"To be considered a transport company will not change the regulations we are subject to in most European countries", a spokesman for Uber said. The verdict is a long-awaited judgment expected to have major implications for how Uber is regulated throughout Europe.

SBC Abogados said in a statement that the ruling had "great judicial significance" and that it could be "extrapolated to other businesses that keep trying to avoid legal responsibilities in the services that they provide".

The decision opens the door for European cities to impose stricter regulations on the ride-hailing company as a taxi operator.

Importantly, the court says Uber should be classified as "a service in the field of transport" rather than "an information society service". The EAT upheld the employment tribunal's ruling and dismissed Uber's appeal.

Neither Uber Systems Spain, which is related to Uber Technologies nor the non-professional drivers had the necessary authorizations and licenses that are mandatory under the regulation of taxi services in Barcelona.

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