[ Director: Mário Frota [ Coordenador Editorial: José Carlos Fernandes Pereira [ Fundado em 30-11-1999 [ Edição III [ Ano X

sexta-feira, 2 de junho de 2017

European court may force Uber out of Europe

Taxi drivers protest against unfair competition in Madrid, Spain, 26 April 2017.
[EPA/Victor Lerena]
For now, it seems that Uber is close to the end of its activities in Europe.

In recent months, tension has risen in Europe between taxi drivers and Uber, a company that is a typical example of the sharing economy. The taxi drivers complain that Uber drivers are in reality nothing more than unfair competition that is not subject to any rules. This American company argues on the other hand that it is a mere Internet platform, to which the standard rules for passenger transport do not apply.

For the moment it seems that Uber is on the losing end of this battle. The Court of Justice is handling the dispute between Uber and European taxi drivers. One of its advocates general, Maciej Szpunar, announced in mid-May that Uber is a standard transport company that is subject to the same rules as taxi services.
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EU court's opinion challenges Commission's pro-Uber stance

An opinion issued today (11 May) by the EU Court of Justice’s advocate general said that Uber cannot benefit from lax rules under the service directive, seen by the European Commission as the legal basis for the collaborative economy.
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“[Uber] is […] a traditional transport service. […] It is undoubtedly the supply of transport which is the main supply and which gives the service economic meaning,” Szpunar said in his official opinion.

An advisory opinion is not a final decision. However, in practice, the CJEU often pays heed to the opinions of its advocates general.
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