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London revokes Uber's license to operate

[JURIST] Transport for London (TfL) [official website] on Friday announced [motice, PDF] that it will not issue a private hire operator license to Uber London Limited to operate in London.

Uber's current license is set to expire September 30. However, Uber is able to appeal within 21 days, and Uber will be allowed to continue its operations in London while the appeal process progresses.

TfL has declared that Uber has demonstrated "a lack of corporate responsibility." TfL specified that the lack of responsibility is found in each of the following areas:

Its approach to reporting serious criminal offences.

  • Its approach to how medical certificates are obtained.

  • Its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.

  • Its approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London, software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties

London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan [Official Website], has announced [Press release] his support of the TfL decision. He has stated that "it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety and security." He also stated that Uber needs to "play by the rules."

A petition [Change.org petition] to ask the governor to reverse the decision has already received over 300,000 signatures 6 hours after starting.

Uber has seen increased regulations in Europe over the past year. In May the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had given a non-binding opinion [JURIST report] that Uber was a transportation company subject to additional regulations and fines. In December, Denmark had indicted [JURIST report] Uber's European branch over charges of assisting drivers in violating taxi laws.

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