Luxembourg — EU member states can ban ride-hailing pioneer Uber without informing the European Commission because at heart, it is an ordinary transport company under their jurisdiction, according to a top EU lawyer. San Francisco-based Uber insists it is a service, not a transport provider, connecting riders with freelance drivers directly and much more cheaply than traditional taxi companies. But critics and competitors say this allows it to dodge costly regulation and several countries, led by France, have banned its low-cost UberPop service as a result. Uber France challenged the ban, saying it amounted to regulation of an information company, which Paris should have first lodged with the EU’s administrative arm. However, Maciej Szpunar, an advocate-general with the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice, said on Tuesday that Uber was in fact an ordinary transport company and so member states could go ahead and regulate its activities without notifying the commission in advan...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.