Belgian courts outrule Brussels Uber illegal - but VTC giant says judgment will not 'impact' on business.
The Commercial Court of Brussels - the Dutch-speaking wing - issued a judgment in late December 2018 that Uber is considered illegal in the Belgian capital, reports La Libre, Thursday, January 3, 2019.
In other words, only drivers with a Brussels taxi license are allowed to do paid shopping in the capital.
Belgian courts outrule Brussels Uber illegal
This is a second major setback for Uber in Belgium: UberPop, the service that linked individuals with non-professional drivers, had already been deemed illegal in 2015.
The US giant of the VTC may receive fines of 10,000 euros per offense for up to a million euros, according to several Belgian media.
Contacted by La Libre, Uber responded by stating that this "has no immediate impact on our activities." The judge in this case did not make a decisive but informative decision, and this opinion will still have to be considered by the applicable court. before a judgment is rendered.
Uber points to the difference between its UberPop service and its other UberX service, which connects customers with professional drivers. The company estimated that the drivers of UberX had all the licenses required to conduct races in the capital.
The judgment handed down by the Commercial Court of Brussels is the latest event of the conflict between Uber and Brussels taxis.
In March 2018, hundreds of taxi drivers had carried out snail operations in Brussels to protest the presence of Uber in the Belgian capital.
RELATED: Uber suffers a setback in French justice that has 3 reasons to consider an independent driver as an employee of the American giant
In a judgment rendered on January 10, 2018 concerning a former VTC driver who worked with Uber, the Paris Court of Appeal just said that the link that united him to the US technology platform was "a contract of employment", according to AFP who was able to consult the decision.
This is the "first time" that the Paris Court of Appeal makes such a decision, said the plaintiff's defender, Me Fabien Masson, BNR cabinet.
Uber will "form a power against this judgment" says a spokeswoman for the company Business Insider France.
"Drivers choose to use the Uber app for independence and freedom to connect to it if, when and where they want it, so drivers can decide to connect in real time and without any conditions. This flexibility must be preserved and that is why we will appeal against this judgment. '
According to the court, the relationship of subordination was proven with Uber for three reasons: the service "gives directives, controls the execution and exercises a power of sanction against him".
The court of appeal now refers the case to the labor courts, who declared themselves incompetent in June 2018 for the benefit of the Paris Commercial Court. The independent driver filed a complaint in 2017 after Uber's account was deactivated "after a thorough study of his case".
In Europe, Uber suffered a similar setback in London. The appeal court recognized the status of employees as two plaintiffs - a status entitling them to minimum hourly wages and paid holidays. There are 45,000 drivers working for Uber in the British capital.