Uber Is Now Officially in the Bike Rental Business

  • Uber Is Now Officially in the Bike Rental Business

Uber Is Now Officially in the Bike Rental Business

The EU's top court on Tuesday dealt another blow to USA taxi hailing giant Uber by backing the right of France and other member states to ban an illegal taxi service without notifying Brussels regulators.

Under EU law, legislation from member states that affects digital services must be pre-approved by the European Commission.

Uber's loss follows an earlier one a year ago where the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) classified the company as a transport service rather than a digital one, which stripped it of protections against undue national regulation that digital services enjoy under EU law.

In another legal setback for Uber, the European Court of Justice has said France is allowed to bring criminal proceedings against managers of the ride-hailing app without notifying the European Commission in advance.

As France did not seek the Commission's approval Uber argued that criminal charges brought against two of the company's French managers were not valid.

Jump CEO Ryan Rzepecki, who incorporated the company in 2010 and launched its first pilot a few years later, said the company's brand will live on. In the Court's view, the UberPop service offered in France is essentially identical to the service provided in Spain, that being a matter for the tribunal de grande instance de Lille to verify.

The ride-hailing company had argued that France should have sought the European Union executive's approval of its proposed taxi law - something it did not do - and that therefore the criminal charges brought against two of Uber's French managers were not valid. That formed the basis of Uber's appeal, as it argued that the taxi laws banning UberPop weren't vetted by the EU.

The move followed Uber's "180 days of change" programme that was launched in June to make changes requested by drivers, such as tipping and compensation for time spent waiting for passengers.

Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees, and lack paid sick leave and vacation, and must pay for auto maintenance and other costs.

Uber appeared to take the ruling in its stride.

JUMP is headquartered in NY and offers a service where rides can rent bikes which are electric-powered through an online platform.

Services by non-professional Uber drivers only continue in Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania.

The association's Jakob Kucharczyk regretted to see "the Commission's effective oversight powers" being curtailed by the court.