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Court forbade Uber to do business

The company operating in the Slovak capital for more than two years has to switch off its application.

Taxi drivers protested against Uber already in 2015. (Source: Sme)

The Uber alternative taxi service has to switch off its application in Bratislava, a ruling of the Bratislava District Court from mid-February says.

The motion was filed in January by the Civic Association of Licensed Taxi Drivers, the Sme daily wrote on March 27.

They filed the motion after the European Court of Justice ruled that Uber is a transport company, and not only a technology firm as it tried to state.

Read also:Court issues first ever fine for Uber driver

The association accepts the ruling, while Uber failed to comment for Sme on the verdict that became effective as of beginning of March.

Bratislava has been the only Slovak city in which the company has been active. Taxi drivers organised several protests after it started operating in the capital.

What taxi drivers fight for

In Slovakia, taxis have to fulfill strict criteria, drivers are obliged to have licenses, to be self-employed, their cars must be marked, have taximeters, as well as cash registers.

On the other hand, most Uber drivers do not fulfill these criteria; instead they use private cars for making some money on the side. It is enough if they have an application installed in their mobile phones through which clients can call them.

Despite the court ruling, the company was still operating on the afternoon of March 26, as Sme managed easily to call a Uber car to the specific address.

Read also:Dissatisfied taxi drivers hit Bratislava streets, again

“This is violating the court decision,” Jakub Žák of the Poláček & Partners law agency commented, adding such activities could be contested by the Association.

If Uber ignores the ruling, a court distrainor could impose a fine.

The core of the problem with a shared economy

“Such a state of matters is the result of the state not dealing with the issue of a shared economy,” Žák told Sme. “First, we taxed Uber, and then we try to determine rules for its enterprising.”

The European Court of Justice found by the end of December 2017 that Uber is a transport company, and not a technology firm, as it tried to claim. Soon afterwards, the Civic Association of Licensed Taxi Drivers filed a motion with the district court in Bratislava, its chairperson Matej Krampl said for Sme, adding that they are happy about the recent verdict.

Uber wrote that they have not received the verdict by post so far, and have refused to comment on it.

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