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Uber declared transport company by European court
Member states of the European Union can apply stricter rules and regulations to Uber taxi services, following the decision in Luxembourg on Wednesday. The system of reserving cars with a Uber chauffeur belong to the domain of a transport service, ruled the ECJ after a challenge brought by taxi drivers in Barcelona. The decision will apply to all EU countries and cannot be appealed against.
Uber argued that it was a computer services business and not a transport company. In its ruling, the ECJ said that an “intermediation service” which connected by means of a smartphone and for remuneration, non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with people wanting to make a journey, should be regarded as being linked to a transport service and accordingly classified as “a service in the field of transport” within the meaning of EU law.
Brussels mobility minister Pascal Smet welcomed the decision. His spokesperson Mathias Dobbels said the minister wanted to introduce global legislation for the sector, replacing the current two licences, one for taxis and one for limousines. Uber has been operating under the limousine legislation. The presence of Uber in Brussels has provoked numerous protests by city taxi services.