WASHINGTON — A European Union determination to deal with Uber Applied sciences Inc. like a taxi firm spotlights a trans-Atlantic divide over how governments address disruptive applied sciences and will embolden U.S. cities to limit the ride-sharing service.
The EU Courtroom of Justice on Wednesday dominated towards Uber, which had argued it’s a know-how platform connecting passengers with unbiased drivers, not a transportation firm topic to the identical guidelines as taxi companies. Within the U.S., states have handed broad-based legal guidelines governing ride-sharing companies, brushing apart conventional taxi-industry laws for Uber and Lyft Inc.
“There’s a philosophical difficulty that we don’t have right here,” stated Matthew Daus, a lawyer and former chairman of the New York Metropolis Taxi & Limousine Fee. “The U.S. strategy to coverage has been extra closely pushed by tech-based capitalism, whereas the European response has been to place the brakes on companies that aren’t licensed companies.”
The ruling comes as European authorities have battled with Silicon Valley’s largest know-how firms. Clashes embrace Apple Inc. falling out with Eire over a 2016 determination to pay $15 billion in again taxes, Alphabet Inc.’s Google being hit with a file $2.eight billion positive over procuring advertisements, and Fb Inc. and Twitter Inc. dealing with inquiries for the unfold of hate speech. Paris regulators are clamping down on Airbnb, treating the home-rental web site like a lodge.
The EU ruling might encourage some cities which have already had a prickly relationship with the ride-sharing companies. San Francisco’s metropolis lawyer is investigating whether or not Uber’s service is a public nuisance. In New York, officers are mulling methods to tighten controls. And Seattle has handed an ordinance to make it simpler for Uber drivers to unionize.
“I’m certain some cities will take inspiration,” Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow on the Peterson Institute for Worldwide Economics, stated in an electronic mail. “Regulation of taxis within the U.S. is mostly the duty of every metropolis the place they function.”
Uber’s EU case has been intently watched by the know-how due to its precedent for regulating the gig financial system, the place freelancers earn a living by plying all the things from spare rooms to fast-food deliveries by way of apps on smartphones.
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