Taxi Or App? Uber’s Fate To Be Decided At EU Court Today
Uber’s trouble appears to be getting just started.
On Wednesday, European Union, EU's top court will decide if the ride-hailing app is an ordinary taxi company and should be regulated as such.
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.
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It also comes the same week as one of its drivers admitted to the attempted rape and murder of a British embassy worker coming home from a night out in Beirut, Lebanon.
Uber, the biggest name in the exploding internet economy, claims it is a mere service provider, connecting consumers with drivers in more than 600 cities.
But it has run into huge opposition from taxi companies and other competitors who say this allows it to dodge costly regulations such as training and licensing requirements for drivers and vehicles.
The case was brought by a taxi drivers' association in the Spanish city of Barcelona, where belief runs high that Uber is a taxi company that should be subject to rules governing such vehicles.
The court's senior advisor, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar, agreed in an opinion in May arguing that Uber "whilst innovative, falls within the field of transport".
"Uber can thus be required to obtain the necessary licences and authorisations under national law," he said.
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