The scenario of Uber operations in Europe and especially in Spain is complicated. The CJEU has ruled that Uber is a transport service and not the information society, a decision in line with the conclusions that the Advocate General of the organization, Maciej Szpunar, had exposed in May.
The litigation goes back to 2014, when the Elite Taxi Professional Association sued Uber’s subsidiary in Spain for deceptive practices and unfair competition, as it did not have the necessary licenses to travel through the city. To determine if the activity of the ridesharing platform could be determined as unfair competition, the court understood that it was first necessary to clarify if the company needed a prior administrative authorization, for which it was necessary to clarify whether it was a transport service or proper to the company. society of Information. If the first activity is carried out, the Spanish regulations would cover the complainants in their claim.
For this, the judge requested a request for a preliminary ruling in 2015 from the CJEU. After just over two years, the High Court has concluded that the service of the platform” is inextricably linked to a transport service, and, therefore, must be described as” service in the field of transport », For the purposes of Union law. The letter reiterates that the company is not a simple intermediation service.
Although the verdict of the CJEU refers to the request for decision and does not resolve the national litigation, it does empower the court where the complaint has been made to solve it according to its ruling , which translates into Uber having to comply with the regulation of the sector, in this case the regulations that apply in Barcelona, if you want to continue operating. In addition, it establishes jurisprudence regarding other similar cases that Uber may have in other European courts.