>> Uber's problem in Britain just keep multiplying. As company lawyers appeared at an appeals tribunal in a case separate from the recent announcement that they'd be striped of their taxi license in London. And as Reuters Tom Bergin explains, the lesser known case may actually be the bigger threat.
>> Uber faces a raft of regulatory challenges at the moment in London. On the face of it, the most obvious one is this removal or decision to remove its license to operate as a taxi company in London that was made last week. However, a potentially bigger problem that the company faces is around the status of its drivers.
Last year, a tribunal found that the drivers should be deemed to be employees, not independent contractors. Now, if the courts uphold that decision, well then the whole business model of the company could be at risk.>> If Uber is forced to recognize UK drivers as employees, it will mean that they're entitled to benefits that would cut severely into their profit margins.
Uber says it's following the same practice as other taxi companies, but the tech giant also has more direct control of a driver than the average London Black cab, and already pays less. For many Uber drivers, the company's trouble seem like a lose-lose situation. Many feel taken advantage of, but the alternative is 40,000 drivers being out of work entirely, and it may have a domino effect.
>> It's difficult to overestimate the importance of London in Uber's overall European operation. And its London operation could represent as much as half of its European turnover, we calculate based on filings that we've seen. The question is, if it isn't able to operate profitably in London, can it exist in Europe at all?
>> Uber has already pulled back from China and Eastern Europe and is facing regulatory challenges in other countries. Its global ambitions in peril on multiple fronts.