Uber dealt blow after European Union court classifies it as transport service

Uber urges those who use the service and their driver-partners to stay safe using the app this festive season

Tho admitted that many rules were now no longer appropriate, creating an unfair environment between traditional taxi firms and new ones like Uber and Grab.

Uber, which can not appeal against the ECJ decision, said the ruling "will not change things in most European Union countries" where the company was already operating under transport law. The ride-hailing service pledged to continue talks with European cities. And some other internet-based businesses fear it could pave the way for other new regulation, as European authorities look for ways to regulate companies that operate online and outside traditional sectors and don't fit in with existing laws. The company had argued it was an intermediary technology company, not a provider of transportation services.

Uber's licence was due to expire on Christmas Eve, having twice previously been granted clearance to operate, most recently in December previous year. Auto-rickshaw and taxi driver unions, forced out of business due to cheaper fares from Uber, have been persistently pushing the government to draft stricter norms to ease the competitive pressures on them. Some 10,000 Uber drivers are likely to be pushed off the road, with little chance of ever getting a for-hire license.

In France, Uber's low-priced service involving independent, unregulated drivers is already banned as the result of legal challenges, but Uber operates a popular ride service involving licensed drivers that competes with traditional taxis and charges similar but more flexible rates. "That is one of the points that the decision is based on."After Uber was stripped of its operating licence, the firm's boss Dara Khosrowshahi met TfL's Commissioner Mike Brown and promised to make things right in the British city, its most important European market".

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Uber said that it was a digital firm since it helps people connect electronically when it was asked by Barcelona to follow the city's taxi rules.

For years Uber has been trying to convince the world it is a tech company, not a transportation company.

However, the ex-Uber worker agreed that conditions were getting much tougher, as national courts were increasingly forcing Uber to requalify drivers as full-time employees. Uber said the ruling would make little difference in practice. However, it's still a landmark ruling against the company, which may influence Uber's future, as well as other companies.

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