A setback to Uber: the ECJ classified Uber as a 'transport service' rather than 'information society service'
A setback to Uber: the ECJ classified Uber as a 'transport service' rather than 'information society service'

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the services provided by Uber are 'services in the field of transport' within the meaning of EU law, rather than 'information society services', and that accordingly it is for the Member States to determine how to regulate the conditions under which it provides its services.

The decision is expected to have far-reaching consequences for many businesses that would have previously been classified as technology companies. The case follows a complaint from a professional taxi driver's association in Barcelona in 2014 that Uber’s activities in Spain amounted to misleading practices and unfair competition from Uber’s use of non-professional drivers—a service Uber calls UberPOP and which has since been suspended in Spain and other countries. In that, Uber and its drivers operated as a taxi service without the licences and authorisations that Barcelona transport law requires.

The ECJ answered the question of whether the services provided by Uber should be regarded as transport services, information society services or a combination of both. If Uber's services were wholly information society services then they would be protected by the Directive on Services in the Internal Market and the Directive on Electronic Commerce, and its activities could not be regarded as unfair practices.

The ECJ considered Uber's role to be "more than an intermediation service consisting of connecting, by means of a smartphone application, a non-professional driver using his or her own vehicle with a person who wishes to make an urban journey". Accordingly, the ECJ found that Uber's activities should be classified as "a service in the field of transport".


For more information, please see the link https://www.competitionpolicyinternational.com/eu-uber-dealt-blow-after-eu-court-classifies-it-as-transport-service/