>> The EU's top court is taking on Uber, advising the US firm provides a transport service and must be licensed. Reuters transport correspondent Julia Fioretti says the decision could end up affecting Uber's customers.>> Well, consumers will be affected because launching peer to peer car sharing services such as UberPop could be made harder if a final ruling comes down.
UberX, which is the licensed service, could become a little bit more expensive as a result of added regulations and safety requirements. And so yes, we could see UberX slightly hampered in its expansion and therefore less availability for consumers.>> It's a blow for the ride sharing company, which claims it's merely a digital enabler, a stance that has allowed it to bypass some strict local licensing and safety rules.
Though an non-binding opinion, the determination by the Court of Justice is followed by the court's judges in most cases. That makes it likely that future rulings will require Uber to meet licensing and authorization laws. The case was brought by an association of Barcelona taxi drivers, the latest group to take Uber to court since the company expanded into Europe five years ago.
They argue it has created an unfair market. In a statement, Uber said it would await the final verdict later this year but also vowed to press ahead with its plans in Europe. It says a binding ruling would undermine the much-needed reform of outdated laws which prevent millions of Europeans from access to a reliable ride at the tap of a button.
Tech giant or taxi company, Uber isn't about to change its ways.