Uber Legal Issues

After Kalanick was forced, Uber said it welcomed the regulation and would work with governments in France and elsewhere to find compromises. The company has continued to appeal the 2016 decisions, saying they raise troubling legal issues. The case is now pending before the French Supreme Court. Kalanick`s spokesperson said Uber`s expansion initiatives are “led by more than a hundred executives in dozens of countries around the world and at all times under the direct oversight and with the full approval of Uber`s strong legal, policy and compliance groups.” The situation was much worse for Uber in Germany. Germany`s highest court ruled in 2018 that the Uber service was illegal after a lower court ruled in favor of the plaintiff (Taxi Deutschland – a Berlin taxi company) that such a service violated German car rental laws. The court argued that Uber did not have the license to provide passenger transportation services with rental cars. While there were no known disputes regarding the employment relationship between Uber and its drivers (in part, perhaps due to the early ban on Uber ride-hailing services in Germany), the aforementioned decision also took into account the fact that Uber drivers were considered employees. Such an employment relationship is a prerequisite for Uber`s obligation to obtain appropriate licences for its drivers under German car rental law. The lawsuit against Uber establishes a common practice that undermines the free development of ride-hailing services around the world. While Uber has closed its Southeast Asia operations in line with its international business strategy, the e-hailing business model is dominated by other regional providers such as Grab. Therefore, the above issues persist for the market and have the potential to trigger litigation as well as social reactions if left unattended, such as the dispute between Grab and Vinasun, a local taxi company in Vietnam. In Vietnam, there are some differences in the functioning of e-hailing service providers and Vietnam`s e-hailing regulations.

In the area of antitrust, the biggest problem concerns the administrative rules applicable to mergers and acquisitions in order to prevent a particular service provider from holding too large a market share. For the legal requirements of motorists, the government has already issued Decree No. 10/2020/ND-CP, which regulates the car transport sector, including e-hailing trade. This decree clearly defines and distinguishes between the “transport connection support company” and the “transport company” and sets the corresponding requirements for each type of company. This creates a clear legal basis for compliance as well as the basis for disputes that arise. Such definitions make it easy to identify both legal operating requirements and the relationships between e-hailing service providers and drivers. However, much of the transportation service in Vietnam is carried out by motorcyclists in addition to motorists. At present, this field of activity is not specifically regulated by a specific legal framework, which can lead to conflicts, especially in industrial relations. In summary, ride-hailing providers are typically subject to several legislative changes, which may be partly due to the global legal trend and attitudes towards this business model.

E-hailing service providers are advised to make adaptable changes to their business models to better align them with legal requirements and market rules, ideally with the help of professional legal counsel. Here are some of its legal battles around the world: Two former Uber executives said company representatives saw a potential advantage in violent clashes and tried to use such incidents for public relations and political purposes. One of the executives, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the company`s internal affairs, said it would have been foolish not to do so. “Why can`t we be competitors as fierce as they are, as long as we do it in a reasonably legal way?” the person asked. The company faces lawsuits in several cities around the world and has been criticized for its vehicles increasing traffic jams and driving away from ordinary taxis. “Do you have any topics of conversation to discuss in the media or with politicians?” Maxime Drouineau, an employee of Uber policy, asked, adding that the incident comes “really at the worst time” for taxi drivers who opposed the legalization of Uber in the country. Some drivers who participate in limousine services want to be employees, while others prefer to remain independent contractors due to the autonomy and flexibility of work schedules. Independent contractors generally have more flexibility than employees, while employees enjoy greater legal protection.

Uber drivers are currently treated as freelancers, meaning they enjoy minimal protection by law, a status the Silicon Valley-based company has sought to maintain a long-running legal battle. The same week, taxi drivers in the Netherlands protested to demand that authorities enforce a three-month court ruling that UberPop, the company`s service that uses non-professional drivers, is illegal and punishable by fines of up to €100,000 per day. Four Uber drivers were attacked overnight. In one of these incidents, masked men surrounded an Uber car and carried a gun to the driver`s throat while taking his license plate and punctured his tires. In another case, an Uber driver was “seriously injured,” according to the documents. Germany`s highest court ruled in December 2018 that a former ride-hailing service offered by Uber but taken out of service in 2014 was illegal, a setback for the company in Europe`s largest economy. M. Plouffe said in a statement that Uber and governments need to find a way forward in a sometimes troubled legal landscape. But Plouffe said he sometimes protests internally against the company`s tactics.

Less than six months later, Simphal and Gore-Coty were convicted of complicity in operating an illegal transportation service. At the time of sentencing, they escaped prison, but were sentenced to 20,000 euros and 30,000 euros respectively. Uber was also found guilty of this and other crimes and fined 800,000 euros. Half of the fines were suspended. Kalanick`s spokesman said such “kill switch” protocols are common business practices and are not intended to obstruct justice. She said the logs that didn`t delete the data had been reviewed and approved by Uber`s legal department, and that the former Uber CEO had never been charged with obstruction of justice or any other related crime. The series of legal complications with popular ride-hailing service provider Uber continues to evolve unexpectedly. The latest decision in France in a dispute between Uber France and taxi drivers is another strike for companies in Europe.

Its new business model raises serious concerns among relevant stakeholders, in particular regards: (i) allegations of unfair competition on the grounds that Uber circumvents many types of fees and restrictions imposed on its traditional competitors; and (ii) applications for recognition of employment relationships and relevant rights and interests of drivers. These problems are at the root of various lawsuits and investigations by the authorities of different countries around the world. In July this year, taxi drivers in Portugal committed “acts of violence” against Uber drivers three times, sending at least one to the hospital, Rui Bento, managing director of Uber`s Portuguese office, said in an email to colleagues. One of the country`s largest taxi associations, ANTRAL, had succeeded in getting a court to temporarily ban the use of the Uber app. The president of ANTRAL, Florêncio Almeida, had spoken out against the transport service, which he considered illegal. “We will likely have local and national issues in almost every city in India for the rest of your tenure at Uber.” We usually hold back, don`t react and often say no to what they want. That`s how we work and it`s almost always the best. “These types of cases are becoming more common in California,” said Jennifer Shaw of the Shaw Law Group in Sacramento, California. “Issues with independent contractors have been in the news for several years, but we are seeing more and more cases filed.