Ride-hailing firm Uber provides a transport service and therefore must be licensed to operate like any other taxi company, according to an adviser to the European Union’s top court.
The opinion is non-binding, but the court’s judges reportedly tend to follow the advisory in most cases. If the ruling is enforced across Europe, Uber will have to provide services under the same local licensing rules and safety regulations as established taxi companies.
The case was initially brought to Barcelona City Court by a group called Elite Taxi. The cabbies urged the court to penalize Uber’s operations in Spain, saying the company was engaged in unfair competition as it used unlicensed drivers in its UberPOP service.
Uber no longer operates UberPOP in Spain and plans to wait for a final ruling later this year.