x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 October 2017

Uber launches appeal to retain London licence

Uber, whose backers include Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, will defend its London business at a hearing most likely due on Dec. 11

Uber has filed an appeal against the decision by London authorities to deny it a licence to operate in London. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
Uber has filed an appeal against the decision by London authorities to deny it a licence to operate in London. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Uber lodged a court appeal on Friday to overturn a decision by London's transport regulator that stripped the taxi app of its operating licence in its most important European market, the first stop on what is set to be a long legal road.

Transport for London (TfL) shocked the Silicon Valley firm last month by deeming it unfit to run a taxi service and refusing to renew its licence, citing its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

The appeal marks the beginning of months of legal wrangling in a battle that had pitched one of the world's richest cities against a Silicon Valley giant known for forays into new markets across the globe that have stoked competition for established cab companies.

______________________

Read more

Uber riders in Dubai can now choose electric-powered Tesla

Talks to bring a cheaper Uber ride service to Dubai have been 'positive' says company

Uber board passes measures aimed at bringing in major investor Japan's Softbank

______________________

Uber, whose backers include Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, will defend its London business at a hearing most likely due on Dec. 11, a spokesman at Britain's Judicial Office told Reuters.

Uber, criticised by London Mayor Sadiq Khan for employing an "an army of PR experts and an army of lawyers", said that it hoped to keep talking to TfL to find a way forward.

"While we have today filed our appeal so that Londoners can continue using our app, we hope to continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London," an Uber spokesman said.

"As our new CEO has said, we are determined to make things right."

Only a month into the job, Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi met TfL Commissioner Mike Brown for talks earlier in October, which both sides said were constructive as the $70-billion firm tries to repair its relationship with the regulator.

Uber's licence expired on Sep. 30 but its roughly 40,000 drivers in the British capital will be able to continue operating until the appeals process is exhausted.

Friday's appeal was submitted to Westminster Magistrates' Court in London as part of the first stage of a legal process which could take months or years to reach a conclusion.

The filing is a short notification of Uber's intention to appeal rather than the detailed grounds.