Uber should be regulated as a transportation company as well as not a tech service, an adviser to Europe’s top court said on Thursday.
The non-binding opinion issued by the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is actually a major setback for Uber, which has argued of which the item is actually best classified as a digital service.
“The Uber electronic platform, whilst innovative, falls within the field of transport: Uber can thus be required to obtain the necessary licenses as well as authorizations under national law,” Advocate General Maciej Szpunar wrote in an opinion published by the court.
A final decision within the case is actually expected before the end of the year. While guidance through the Advocate General is actually not binding, the court typically rules in similar fashion.
Uber has long sought to avoid tougher regulation by arguing of which the item is actually a tech platform of which connects passengers as well as drivers.
Critics, however, say of which the item more closely resembles a taxi company as well as should be regulated as such. Another frequent point of contention: Uber says full- as well as part-time drivers who ferry passengers around are not employees, nevertheless contractors.
An Uber spokesperson said Thursday of which the company might wait for the court’s final ruling.
“Being considered a transportation company might not change the way we are regulated in most EU countries as of which is actually already the situation today,” the spokesperson added. “the item will, however, undermine the much needed reform of outdated laws.”
Related: Uber is actually ditching of which country next month
The case against Uber was brought by an organization representing professional taxi drivers in Spain. They argued of which Uber has an unfair advantage because its drivers don’t possess the taxi licenses required by the city of Barcelona. A Spanish court referred the case to the European Court of Justice.
Spain is actually not the only European country where Uber faces a backlash. The company was fined in France last year for running an illegal transportation service.
within the U.K., Uber faces a backlash through taxi drivers as well as labor unions over its treatment of drivers.
Uber announced last month of which the item might pull out of Denmark because of the country’s completely new taxi laws.
sy88pgw (London) First published May 11, 2017: 6:01 AM ET