EU Court: member states may ban UberPop without notifying the Commission

Apr

10

2018

European Court of Justice has determined that Member States of the European Union that decide to ban and punish an illegal transport activity such as UberPop can do so without prior notification to the European Commission.

The Court of Justice refers in support of the ruling to a previous judgment of December last year, in which it was considered that the UberPop service offered in Spain should be regarded as a transport service and can not be regarded as an ‘information society service’. ‘. As a result, the obligation to report the intention to prohibit or punish a service is not at issue. According to the judges, the UberPop service offered in France is identical to that of Spain and the French authorities did not have to notify the Commission in advance of their draft law for punishing Uber.

The French authorities have instituted criminal charges against UberPop because of the fact that Uber uses non-licensed drivers in this service. Uber is of the opinion that the legal regime under which it is prosecuted can be qualified as ‘a technical regulation for establishing technical standards and regulations concerning an information society service’. As a result, Uber feels that France needed permission from the Commission. Because this was not requested, Uber states that the law could not be used against the company.

This concerns the underlying question whether Uber is more than a service that brings passengers and drivers into contact via an app. In that context, the Court of Appeal ruled in the earlier judgment that the app forms an integral part of Uber’s services, which mainly consist of providing transport services. This means that the e-commerce rules do not apply to Uber services; Uber must therefore be regarded as a transport service and can therefore be regulated on the basis of transport rules.

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