Judge To Decide Whether Uber Can Operate In London

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As Uber Technologies Inc. seeks to reinstate its license to provide ride-hailing services in London after a suspension, the city’s transportation regulator will leave the decision up to a judge.

Bloomberg News reported that Transport for London (TfL) will stay neutral and let the court decide whether Uber can operate in its biggest European market.

Citing that Uber was unfit to hold a license, TfL suspended the company’s operations last November. Uber first lost its license in 2017, but was granted two extensions as the company improved its service.

In a filing for a court hearing on Friday (Aug. 28), an attorney for Uber said that TfL has signaled it will leave the final decision on renewal to a judge.

“The question whether, in the light of the changes made by Uber London since the decision, it is now a fit and proper person, is one for the court,” Tim Ward, Uber’s lawyer, said in the filing, noting that it was a summary of the regulator’s view.

Since Uber’s first suspension three years ago, Lyft, its chief competitor, has talked with TfL and City Hall officials to bring its service to London. Lyft still does not offer ride-hailing in the city.

Uber’s request to resume driving on London’s streets comes one month after a group of Uber drivers in England filed suit against the company for its alleged failure to provide access to data and an explanation of algorithmic management.

The App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU), a U.K.-based group, filed a lawsuit against Uber in the District Court of Amsterdam, where Uber’s European headquarters is located. The 10-page complaint said that by not providing the information, Uber is in violation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which regulates privacy protection in the 28-nation bloc.

Drivers from London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow are demanding the right for their data to be sent directly to their union for purposes of collective bargaining. They are asking the court to order Uber to comply with the data protection law or be fined 10,000 euros ($11,443) for each day it continues to violate the law.

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