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“Uber is a transport company” declares EU Court of Justice

Published on 20/12/2017

The European Union's Court of Justice ruled today that Uber is a transport company - not a digital company, as the company had argued. This means it will have to comply with EU and national legislation in force for the transport sector.

Portugal’s government, still dithering over what applicable legislation will placate the transport union ANTRAL, will allow Uber to operate its desirable service to the benefit of Portugal’s users and now has a definition of the service category to work with.

Portugal’s long-awaited regulations to cover Uber and other ‘gig economy’ transport service providers do not have to treat the company as a taxi service , but must bear in mind the European ruling that it is a transport company, not just an web-based intermediary.

Regulatory proposals have been kicking around the government since March this year with govenrment keen for the problem to go away, An added complication was Portugal’s appeal court declaring Uber illegal.

Uber said it was just an intermediary in the Portuguese market with no existing rules in Portugal prohibiting its operation.

This argument has now been kicked out by the European Court of Justice, to the delight of ANTRAL whose position has been made ludicrous by its lawyers pursuing an action against Uber Inc in the US, instead of Uber in the Netherlands which actually operates in Portugal.

Uber said today that the Court of Justice ruling will not change the situation in most European Union countries where Uber already operates.

Since March this year, the government’s proposal for the new wave of transport services, which includes Uber and Cabify, has been discussed and approved by the Committee on Economy, Innovation and Public Works. The document was not voted on in Parliament because it did not receive agreement from other parties, which have complicated matters by submiting their own proposals.

The government’s proposed regulations