Score one for Uber.
The ride-hailing company got handed down a legal victory, and what’s more, it’s in Europe, where Uber has been a flashpoint across the Continent.
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As was widely reported last week, London’s High Court said that the company’s app does not amount to a taxi meter and has been operating legally in the city since launch five years ago.
CNNMoney reported Friday (Oct. 16) that the company prevailed in its legal battle with London’s black cab drivers, which through the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association had asked the court to strike down Uber’s app. But the court said that, in essence, the driver’s use of a smartphone in tandem with the app was not the same as a taxi’s fare-determining device. In its ruling, the court wrote that “a taximeter … does not include a device that receives GPS signals in the course of a journey and forwards GPS data to a server located outside of the vehicle.”
CNNMoney reported that the taxi drivers association said it would appeal to the U.K.’s Supreme Court.
In a nod to Oliver Twist, and in the wake of the decision, the association tweeted that “the law really is an ass. [The app] uses time & distance to calculate fare and it’s not a meter?” Uber, for its part, said through Jo Bertram, the company’s general manager in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Nordics, that the ruling was tantamount to “great news for Londoners and a victory for common sense.”
In other news tied to the company and its United Kingdom operations, CNNMoney said that London is considering a mandatory five-minute wait for passengers that want to use the Uber app and also are in the midst of considering keeping the company from displaying driver availability graphically on a map via its smartphone app.
Uber’s path through Europe has been a rocky one. As has been reported, the company suspended its UberPOP service in Paris following violent protests. And in Amsterdam, Uber is being investigated by Dutch authorities over possibly breaking that country’s transport rules.
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