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Spain: Government backs Taxis – Uber, a Transport company

 |  March 15, 2016

Spain’s executive branch has dealt a blow to ride-sharing app Uber, having issued a document to the EU’s Court of Justice stating that it believes the company should be considered a transportation service. The move reinforces the arguments of the ‘Elite Taxi’ association, a taxi driver’s group, which has called for the company to be prosecuted over its operation of passenger transport services without the proper licensing. The company’s final status rests on Barcelona-based Judge José María Fernández Sello’s upcoming ruling, in a case that will determine whether the company is indeed a transport service or, as it claims, merely an electronic middle-man.

Judge Fernández has said that it would be “Vital” to know the position of the EU’s Court of Justice on the matter in order to determine whether Uber’s Spanish operation could be considered unfair competition. The Court has yet to issue its opinion on the matter, although it has requested the European Commission and all member states to issue, voluntarily, a non-binding report expressing their position on the matter.

The document sent in by the Spanish government states that Uber, while not directly or physically interacting with the user, generates a commercial bond with said user, and so participates directly in the task of transportation. “The Kingdom of Spain considers that Uber acts as a true Transport Organization enterprise, with driver employees”, stated the document.

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