European Union court decision on Uber 'a social victory': plaintiffs

The EU's top court has decided Uber is a taxi company after all

The European Court of Justice (ECJ)ruled yesterday (20 December) that Uber is a transport company for the objective of employing drivers, as opposed to the "information society service" it had claimed - a decision that may make its appeal against a United Kingdom ruling that its drivers are workers less likely to succeed.

In the latest of a series of legal battles, Uber had argued it was simply a digital app that acted as an intermediary between drivers and customers looking for a ride and so should fall under lighter European Union rules for online services.

In 2014, a Spanish judge ruled that the "Uberpop" service risked breaking the law which led Uber to offer a limited version of its "Uber X" service across the country, which uses licensed professional drivers, rather than amateurs.

A European top court has ruled that Uber is a transport company.

"It is necessary to create a fair and transparent environment for every business", Tho said, adding that the existing regulations would be reviewed to create business equality.

Taxi!. The Ministry of Transport will review regulations to better manage new vehicle hailing services companies. And Uber was just dealt a massive blow in Europe, where a court ruled the company has to abide by cab regulations. Uber said the ruling would make little difference in practice. "It is appropriate to regulate services such as Uber and so we will continue the dialogue with cities across Europe".

The ruling applies only to the European Union, but it is likely to be scrutinized by regulators looking more broadly at the gig economy.

"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. 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.

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In India too, Uber is facing a somewhat similar situation.

Uber's expected to go before the parliamentarians again after the New Year with "specific details" on how driver hour limits will be put into place, Reuters reported.

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.

"Millions of people use these ride-hailing apps every day - not just Uber, but dozens of others too".

Uber has had a roller-coaster year that also included the ouster of its CEO, sexual harassment allegations and the revelation that it covered up a massive breach of customers' data.

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.

"What is fascinating about this right now is that different countries are taking very different views".

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