Rebecca Wayman

European Court of Justice declares Uber must be classified as a taxi firm

Uber has officially been named as a transport business and is not to be referred as a digital service, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled.

However, Uber argued that it is simply a technology service and not a ‘taxi’ firm, but the ECJ said it “must be classified as a ‘service in the field of transport’”.

Uber will now officially be known and regulated as a cab company. This means that the rules the company is subject to, can change on a country-to-country basis, whereas rules for digital platforms are set across Europe.

Speaking to Sky News, an Uber spokesperson said: “This ruling will not change things in EU countries where we already operate under transportation law. It is appropriate to regulate services such as Uber and so we will continue the dialogue with cities across Europe.”

Moreover, Uber will be excluded from the freedom to provide services as it is becoming a transport business.

Commenting on the ruling, Trades Union Congress’ general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Uber must get its house in order and play by the same rules as everybody else.”

The ruling has come the same day as Uber returns to court to outline an appeal against its London licence.

In September 2017, Transport for London said it would not be renewing the firm’s private hire licence. The company wasn’t deemed fit for purpose.

But the taxi-hailing app will continue to operate in London ahead of the appeal, due to be heard next year.

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