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Uber Is A Transport Company – European Court Of Justice

Unic Press UK: The Court of Justice of the European Union had ruled in the case Asociación Profesional Élite Taxi v Uber Systems Spain SL that Uber is a transport company.

Excerpts from the judgement of the court reads:

“Article 56 TFEU, read together with Article 58(1) TFEU, as well as Article 2(2)(d) of Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market, and Article 1(2) of Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations and of rules on Information Society services, as amended by Directive 98/48/EC of the European Parliament and of Council of 20 July 1998, to which Article 2(a) of Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (‘Directive on electronic commerce’) refers, must be interpreted as meaning that an intermediation service such as that at issue in the main proceedings, the purpose of which is to connect, by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration, non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys, must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as ‘a service in the field of transport’ within the meaning of Article 58(1) TFEU.” (ECJ: 20th Dec. 2017)

The case arose following Uber’s refusal to abide by the regulatory provisions of the urban taxi services as stipulated in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, Spain.

The plaintiff ‘Asociación Profesional Élite Taxi’ claimed that the activities of the Uber Systems Spain infringed the legislation in force and amount to misleading practices and acts of unfair competition.

Uber had argued that it should not be subjected to the local taxi rules in Barcelona as it merely contacts/connects with non-professional drivers to whom it provides software tools — a kind of interface — which enables the drivers in its circles to connect with persons who wish to make journeys and who seamlessly gain access to the service through an eponymous software application.

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