The Court Justice of the European Union declared Uber Technologies Inc. as a transport service and to operate like a taxi service like other services. The Court says that Uber is a taxi service instead of a technology software based company within the meaning of the EU law. The Court believes that the company should exclude itself from falling into two different scopes.
The Court says that Uber “is more than an intermediation service consisting of connecting a nonprofessional driver.” It’s stated that the other forms of taxi services already cover the means of transporting, but just not through a mobile application for most, which Uber makes it absolutely necessary to have the app.
The court order follows a complaint filed a professional taxi drivers’ association in Barcelona, Spain that Uber’s activities monopolized taxi services by misleading practices. Uber called the service UberPOP, which used drivers who weren’t licenses and eligible to transport passengers either. Eventually, the service was suspended in Spain as well as other countries, but still operating in parts of Eastern Europe.
The EU also says that Uber “exercises decisive influence” because users have to use the software platform application to be able to use the service.
There is a possibility that Uber may not be allowed to appeal the decision.
“This ruling will not change things in most EU countries where we already operate under transportation law,” an Uber spokeswoman said in a statement.
Uber also mentioned that the application platform is simply just an easier alternative for users to hail a driver at the ease of a simple button on their mobile devices.
Although Uber says it will not changing most operations in the EU, it will most likely suspend operations in the EU that do not have proper licensings similar to UberPOP. Eventually, it could affect Uber’s future plans to launch more operations around Europe.
Currently, Uber operate in 77 countries and more than 600 cities internationally. The company’s valuation is estimated at $70 billion.