21st Mar 2018

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.


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.


Uber still divides Europe

Uber says national regulations are often outdated, but taxi drivers still see the app as unfair competition.

VW dismisses complaints on Dieselgate fix

'I think customers who want to get information (...) are able to receive information if they want," VW management board member Hiltrud Werner told EUobserver. Consumer groups disagree.

News in Brief

  1. Separatist activist renounces Catalonia leadership candidacy
  2. EU puts conditions on Bayer-Monsanto merger
  3. Hard Brexit would hit poorer Irish households hardest
  4. Finland hosts secretive North Korean talks
  5. EU to unveil 3% tax on digital giants
  6. German elected S&D leader in European Parliament
  7. Germany: nearly €350m child benefit goes abroad
  8. Norway's far-right doubles support as minister resigns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. Judicial reforms 'restore balance', Poland tells EU
  2. Whistleblower fears for life as US arrest Malta bank chair
  3. Behind the scenes at Monday's EU talks on Russia
  4. US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions
  5. EU mulls coercion to get refugee kids' fingerprints
  6. Five east European states prevent new CAP consensus
  7. EU to probe UK 'election-rigging' firm
  8. 'Denial' - is meat the new climate change?