LONDON (Reuters) – Uber [UBER.UL] lodged a courtroom enchantment on Friday to overturn a call by London’s transport regulator that stripped the taxi app of its working license in its most necessary European market, the primary cease on what is ready to be an extended authorized street.
Transport for London (TfL) shocked the Silicon Valley agency final month by deeming it unfit to run a taxi service and refusing to resume its license, citing its strategy to reporting critical prison offences and background checks on drivers.
The enchantment marks the start of months of authorized wrangling in a battle that had pitched one of many world’s richest cities towards a Silicon Valley large identified for forays into new markets throughout the globe which have stoked competitors for established cab corporations.
Uber, whose backers embrace Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, will defend its London enterprise at a listening to more than likely due on Dec. 11, a spokesman at Britain’s Judicial Workplace informed Reuters.
Uber, criticized by London Mayor Sadiq Khan for using an “a military of PR consultants and a military of attorneys”, stated that it hoped to maintain speaking to TfL to discover a approach ahead.
“Whereas we now have immediately filed our enchantment in order that Londoners can proceed utilizing our app, we hope to proceed having constructive discussions with Transport for London,” an Uber spokesman stated.
“As our new CEO has stated, we’re decided to make issues proper.”
Solely a month into the job, Chief Government Dara Khosrowshahi met TfL Commissioner Mike Brown for talks earlier in October, which either side stated had been constructive because the $70-billion agency tries to restore its relationship with the regulator.
Uber’s license expired on Sep. 30 however its roughly 40,000 drivers within the British capital will be capable of proceed working till the appeals course of is exhausted.
Friday’s enchantment was submitted to Westminster Magistrates’ Court docket in London as a part of the primary stage of a authorized course of which might take months or years to achieve a conclusion.
The submitting is a brief notification of Uber’s intention to enchantment relatively than the detailed grounds.
London’s determination is likely one of the most critical setbacks to the taxi app, which has been compelled to stop a number of international locations, together with Denmark and Hungary, and confronted regulatory battles in a number of U.S. states and world wide.
It comes after a tumultuous few months for the San Francisco start-up that led to former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick being compelled out after a sequence of boardroom controversies.
Earlier this month, the agency’s boss in Britain Jo Bertram stated she would stop the taxi hailing app based on emails seen by Reuters.
The corporate can also be embroiled in courtroom motion towards two drivers who received a tribunal case final 12 months entitling them to staff’ rights such because the minimal wage and vacation entitlement, threatening its enterprise mannequin. Uber is interesting the decision.
TfL stated on Friday it could not remark earlier than the licensing enchantment listening to due later this 12 months.
A spokesman on the Mayor of London’s workplace stated that Khan, a politician from the opposition Labour Social gathering who can also be chairman of TfL, continued to again the license determination and that each one personal rent corporations should play by the principles.
He stated throughout a month-to-month query time session on Thursday that the transport authority would defend its determination in the course of the authorized motion.
“The courts now will think about the enchantment from Uber and naturally TfL will defend the choice they made,” he stated.
Reporting by Costas Pitas; enhancing by Man Faulconbridge/Keith Weir