Friday

15th Dec 2017

Uber to appeal decision to halt Brussels ops

  • UberPop has been ordered to stop operating in Brussels after a complaint from the city's top taxi firm (Photo: Arild Nybo)

The popular peer-to-peer car-hailing service Uber will appeal a Belgian court decision to shut down the unlicensed version of its controversial app in Brussels.

A spokesperson from the US-based company told Reuters on Thursday (24 September) that they would appeal a legal decision that requires them to end the Brussels service within 21 days.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Uber allows people without taxi permits to sell rides via mobile phone app UberPop.

The court delivered its verdict on Thursday following a complaint from taxi operator, Taxi Vert. The court decision does not affect the premium version of the app known as UberX that relies on professional drivers.

Traditional taxi services in Brussels last week blocked streets as part of a broader protest against Uber, which they say is unfairly undercutting their business.

Filip Nuytemans, general manager of Uber Belgium, said in response to the protests that laws "should be adapted to allow competition and innovation".

Unlike taxi drivers, UberPop drivers are not licensed. Uber fares are also cheaper and its app provides on-the-spot service that allows users to estimate rates before hailing a vehicle.

The latest court verdict means Belgium could join France, Germany, Italy, and Spain where UberPop is outlawed.

The company lost an appeal in France after the French constitutional court upheld its ban on Thursday.

The Belgian court had already issued an injunction in April 2014. That verdict, which went largely ignored, threatened Uber drivers with a €10,000 fine for every pick-up attempt.

Neelie Kroes, who was EU Commissioner for the digital agenda at the time, said the court decision was "not about protecting or helping passengers – it's about protecting a taxi cartel".

The European Commission launched a competition probe over the summer, following a complaint from Uber that Germany's laws on taxis violate EU law.

Meanwhile, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg is in the process of determining whether the Uber app is a transport service or a digital service.

The verdict could have large ramifications. If the judges declare Uber is a transport service, then company would fall under tougher national regulations.

A judgement is expected by autumn 2016.

Uber suspends taxi app in Spain

The American app company Uber has suspended its ride-sharing service UberPop in Spain, after a court in Madrid banned the app.

Opinion

Brussels: The city that just doesn't give a damn

Welcome to Brussels - the global headquarters of hypocrisy, where calls for budget cuts and flexible labour forces are made by well-paid bureaucrats with jobs for life.

Magazine

Uber still divides Europe

Uber says national regulations are often outdated, but taxi drivers still see the app as unfair competition.

Facebook to shift ad revenue away from Ireland

Public pressure about low corporate taxes appear to have pressured Facebook to launch plans to stop routing international ad sales through its Dublin-based headquarters in Ireland.

News in Brief

  1. Juncker: May made 'big efforts' on Brexit
  2. Merkel took 'tough' line on Russia at EU summit
  3. EU leaders added line supporting 'two-state' solution
  4. EU leaders agree to 20 European Universities by 2024
  5. Belgian courts end legal proceedings against Puigdemont
  6. French central bank lifts 2017 growth forecast
  7. EU leaders set to move Brexit talks on to next stage
  8. EU leaders confirm support for two-state solution

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Polish PM ready for EU sanctions scrap
  2. Dutchman to lead powerful euro working group
  3. EU mulls post-Brexit balance of euro and non-eurozone states
  4. EU asylum debate reopens old wounds
  5. Estonia completes two out of three priority digital bills
  6. EU countries are not 'tax havens', parliament says
  7. Tech firms' delays mean EU needs rules for online terror
  8. Slovak PM: Human rights are not a travel pass to EU