European Union rules Uber a transport service, not digital company

What is Uber? We are getting closer to an answer

Traditional taxi firms said that they were under tighter regulations than Uber and Grab, such as bans on using several streets, paying more tax - and higher operation costs. The 28 member countries in the European bloc will have to regulate "the conditions under which such services are to be provided", the court added.

But the Singapore authorities have largely embraced private-hire auto services, he noted, pointing out that the developments in the past two years were aimed at governing the burgeoning industry.

Uber appealed this decision at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) this year.

Those found operating a private-hire vehicle without a decal or vocational licence can be fined up to $1,000, jailed up to three months, or both, for a first offence. However some of their access may be restricted due to commercial sensitivities and the judge at a preliminary hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday said she couldn't take a final decision on the LTDA's role just yet.

"Today's ruling isn't a disaster".

The decision "will not change things in most European Union countries where we already operate under transportation law", the San Francisco-based company said in a statement.

This one is an old battle that Uber has been fighting in various countries.

The UK proceedings began at the end of October 2015 when four drivers submitted claims against the ride-hailing app, supported by the GMB union.

Jovana Karanovic-Founder of Reshaping Work and a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam Vrije Universiteit indicated while talking to The Next Web that, this is a set back decision for Uber not only in Europe but throughout the world and gives indication that indeed the company is a transportation firm and not a tech firm as they call themselves.

Organized labor's greatest challenge to Uber, however, stems from a taxi association in Barcelona, which filed a case against the company in 2014 for presumed unfair competition, a case that eventually led to Wednesday's court ruling.

While the ultimate consequences of the Uber ruling remain unclear, industry observers say governments have yet to address the massive societal shift toward independent work, and away from the traditional full-time employment model.

The ECJ's ruling gave additional credence to such decisions, posing a real threat to Uber's future growth plans. "But it does mean companies like Uber won't be protected against rules that could prove to be discriminatory".



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