Uber heads to courtroom in struggle for London survival

LONDON (Reuters) – Uber [UBER.UL] will defend its proper to function in London in a courtroom listening to on Monday after the app was deemed unfit to run a taxi service and stripped of its license in its most vital European market.

FILE PHOTO: A photograph illustration exhibits the Uber app on a cellular phone, as it’s held up for a posed , in London, Britain November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photograph

Regulator Transport for London (TfL) shocked the Silicon Valley agency by rejecting its license renewal bid in September, citing its method to reporting critical prison offences and background checks on drivers.

Uber’s 40,000 drivers, representing round one in three of all non-public rent autos on the British capital’s roads, can proceed to take passengers till the appeals course of is exhausted, which might take years.

The authorized battle pitches one of many world’s richest cities in opposition to a tech big recognized for its forays into new markets all over the world which have prompted bans, restrictions and protests, together with by drivers of London’s well-known black cabs.

Uber’s attorneys will start their attraction at Westminster Magistrates’ Court docket on Monday, in what is anticipated to be a largely administrative listening to designed to set a date for a fuller listening to subsequent yr.

Chief Government Dara Khosrowshahi has apologized to Londoners and met TfL Commissioner Mike Brown in October for what each side described as constructive talks.

Brown advised Reuters in November that “there are some discussions happening to ensure they’re compliant.”

Months of authorized wrangling are doubtless except the Silicon Valley app, valued at round $70 billion with buyers together with Goldman Sachs (GS.N), can come to a brand new association with the regulator.

“We proceed having constructive discussions with Transport for London so as to resolve this,” an Uber spokesman mentioned forward of the listening to. “As our new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has mentioned, we’re decided to make issues proper.”

Dropping its London license was simply certainly one of many blows to Uber this yr as a stream of executives left amid controversies involving allegations of sexual harassment and points surrounding information privateness and enterprise practices.

In Britain, Uber is seeking to appoint a brand new boss after Jo Bertram introduced her departure lower than two weeks after London’s determination.

It additionally faces potential issues within the northern English metropolis of Sheffield the place its license has been suspended and in Brighton, southern England, the place native officers prolonged the agency’s license for under six months to provide them extra time to think about the end result of the dispute in London.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Modifying by Keith Weir

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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