The Uber service has come under fire from government officials all over the world. Mainly European countries remain divided as to how they want to label the company in its current state. Moreover, Uber, seemingly ignoring regulation, has caused quite a few riots in Europe over the past few years, clashes with taxi drivers, and legal disputes. But what will the future hold for all parties involved?
Uber Is On Shaky Ground in Europe
This coming Tuesday will be a day on which the future of Uber in Europe will start to take shape. The company will appear before the European Court of Justice, where they can plead their case to operate in their current form. Experts expect Uber will be facing stricter regulatory requirements moving forward, as the EU is their largest international market to date.
It has to be said that Uber has been on an aggressive international expansion. Right now, the service is available across six continents in over 300 cities. That latter number may seem relatively small, but it is only a matter of time until more cities embrace ride-sharing companies. Whether that will be Uber or a different organization, remains to be seen.
The growth of Uber has not been without struggle, as local taxi companies do not welcome any competition. Moreover, the fact that Uber drivers do not need to take specific tests or obtain licenses to operate has been a thorn in the side of taxi companies from day one. Berlin’s taxi dispatch center has already indicated their plans to fight Uber in Germany and other European cities moving forward.
Governing enterprises participating in the sharing economy is not an easy feat by any means. The European Court of Justice will have to determine how to move forward in this regard, as there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding companies like Uber right now. Competitive rules, legislation, and other regulatory requirements will be among the big topics to be discussed.
One of the major questions is determining whether Uber is a transportation service or a services provider under EU law. Technically, they provide a service, which is executed in the form of transportation by third-party users. Uber themselves are not transporting anyone, as their platform only facilitates sharing a ride.
At the same time, judges may deem Uber to be an information society service, which would be a far more favorable outcome for the company. If that verdict came to pass, they could continue offering lower cost services such as UberEATS and UberPOP without issues. An exciting day is ahead for ride-sharing and the sharing economy in Europe, that much is certain.
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