Uber is a taxi service: European Union court

Uber is a taxi service: European Union court

The EU Court of Justice on Wednesday said that the service given by Uber of connecting random individuals with non-professional drivers is the service covered in the field of transportation and all the European states have the right to regulate the terms and conditions of giving this service.

Uber has been ruled a transport service in Europe.

The case is yet another thorn in the side for scandal- rocked Uber, which has drawn the fury of local taxi drivers and officials for flouting local regulations.

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

The judgment by the European Court of Justice is a blow to Uber's efforts to use courts to lighten its regulatory load and forces it to deal more directly with national and local governments that set rules governing auto and transport services in Europe, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires supplied to Efe.

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. The ruling said that the 28 European Union member states will regulate the conditions under which Uber operates.

Organized labor's greatest challenge to Uber, however, stems from a taxi association in Barcelona, which filed a case against the company in 2014 for presumed unfair competition, a case that eventually led to Wednesday's court ruling.

The Uber letter also said that 2.6 percent of United Kingdom drivers are logged in for more than 70 hours a week, and 0.8 percent for more than 80 hours.

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"As our new CEO has said, it is appropriate to regulate services such as Uber and so we will continue the dialog with cities across Europe".

"However, millions of Europeans are still prevented from using apps like ours", adds the company spokesperson.

The decision clarifies for the first time that connecting people via an app to nonprofessional drivers forms an integral part of a transport service. Uber itself insists that there won't be a huge immediate impact on its business, but it could still affect how it operates in future and how it liaises with national governments.

"After today's judgmentb innovators will increasingly be subject to divergent national and sectoral rules", said Jakob Kucharczyk, of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which speaks for companies like Uber, Amazon.com Inc., Google and Facebook Inc. "Their drivers are not commodities". It's the last thing that Uber needed this year, especially when you consider the turbulence that the company has gone through in 2017.

It remains to be seen if Uber's business model will suffer as a result of the ruling and the European Commission's decision on platforms.

The company will also be appealing against a November ruling which found its workers were entitled to the minimum wage, sick pay, paid holiday and breaks.

Drivers signed up to the ride-hailing app could now be forced to obtain similar licenses and authorizations to carry passengers.

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