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>> Uber is facing a spring battle in the London courts. The taxi app will defend its right to operate in the city next year, after it was stripped of its license. A UK judge on Monday set a preliminary appeal date for April 30th, though it could yet be delayed until June.
Further hearings will also take place next week to decide whether the GNB Trade Union and the London Taxi Driver's Association can participate in the case. The Silicon Valley giant's license renewal bid was rejected in September by the regulator Transport for London. It ruled the app was unfit to run, citing it's approach to reporting serious criminal offenses and background checks on drivers.
Reuter's Costas Pitas says London is critical to the app.>> So Uber is a big player in London. It's the biggest private hire vehicle operator. There are about 120,000 odd drivers in London and 40,000 aruba, so that's one in three. They are by far the biggest app, and they're used by millions of Londoners.
London is the biggest market for Uber in Europe as well, and it would be a huge blow both in terms of the actual financials, but also profile wise to lose the capital of one of the world's biggest cities. So Uber of course will defend this as much as possible.
>> But for the moment, there is no disruption for Uber passengers, who can continue their journeys until the appeals process is exhausted, and that could take years.