Economy

EU Court Rules Uber Should be Regulated Like Taxi Service

EU Court Rules Uber Should be Regulated Like Taxi Service

The European Union's top court has ruled that ride-hailing service Uber should be regulated like a taxi company, a decision that could change the way it functions across the continent.

The ECJ considered Uber's role to be "more than an intermediation service consisting of connecting, by means of a smartphone application, a non-professional driver using his or her own vehicle with a person who wishes to make an urban journey." .

The EU court's senior adviser had said in a legal opinion in May that Uber was indeed a transport company.

Lawyers for Barcelona's AsociaciĆ³n Profesional Elite Taxi argued that Uber was directly involved in carrying passengers, and under European Union rules on the freedom to provide services specifically exclude providing transport to the public.

The decision is seen as a major setback for Uber, as it could become a precedent for the EU's regulation of the bloc's gig economy.

The court said in a statement that services provided by companies like Uber are "inherently linked to a transport service" and therefore must be classified as "a service in the field of transport" within European Union law.

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".

Minnesota AG's office says GOP Senate leader can't do 2 jobs
Gilbert said the duties of the lieutenant governor have changed since then, but noted that only a court can decide the dispute. Gazelka and Daudt's plan is for a special legislative session for the sole goal of electing a Democrat as Senate president.

However, the ECJ said in its ruling that member states can regulate such services.

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.

Equally, traditional taxi services dislike it for the way Uber flouts transports regulations that they obey, which is fair enough, and hate it for the way Uber challenges their often lazy monopolies, which is not.

To decide the case the Barcelona court had to refer to the ECJ the question of whether the services provided by Uber should be regarded as transport services, information society services or a combination of both.

"Almost all taxi and private hire drivers in the United Kingdom have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed. As drivers who use Uber know, this has never been the case in the United Kingdom".

Uber does not employ drivers or own vehicles, but instead relies on private contractors with their own cars, allowing them to run their own businesses.


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