By Ramon Mejia
Uber has recently faced a lot of opposition towards its transportation model in Europe. Uber has faced violent protests in France and total bans in Germany and Spain.Today the company’s head of public policy in EMEA, Mark MacGann, announced that an ongoing case against it in Spain has been referred to the European Courts of Justice.
Uber is looking to supersede local laws that ban its service and appeal to the European Unions authority over other member nations to allow its business to proceed lawfully.
In a statement to the press MacGann said, “We operate under a single market for 500 million consumers,” he said. “If courts take the decision that [Uber acts] contrary to European law we will decide what to do next. But this is a single market. And Europe has invested massively in mobile [and the digital economy] and we believe the current regulation is not fit for purpose.”
There are four areas that MacGann outlined that the EU will be assessing in this case:
1. Is Uber is a mere transport activity or an information society service?
2. If it is even partly an IS service, should Uber benefit for freedom of information on providing services, article 57
3. Is Spanish competition law as applied to IS services valid under European law? Can the licensing regime be restrictive?
4. Are the restrictions that Spain is imposing on Uber, including court orders to prohibit service, lawful?
Uber is hoping the European Court of Justice will recognize its right as a business to operate. Regardless of the decision on the case in Spain, the European Court of Justice will finally resolve whether Uber is a transportation company or information social service and how that effects what laws should be applied to the company. At least in Europe.