AMERICAN company Uber has presented a formal complaint against Spain at the European Commission.
The complaint was placed after Spanish courts banned the company’s mobile app UberPOP, which put private drivers in contact with transport users.
“We believe that the three laws on intermediary services in Madrid, Catalonia and Valencia violate the EU’s internal market principles and also that a decision by a Madrid judge last December went against community legislation,” Uber’s policy head for Europe, Mark Macgann, explained.
A Madrid court decided on December 9, 2014, to order Uber to cease all activities and banned the UberPOP app in Spain.
Macgann said the decision clearly broke community legislation as it also banned Spanish citizens from using UberPOP when travelling in other countries where the service is allowed, including the UK, as Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange mobile providers were ordered to block the app.
The complaint stated that the company finds the measures taken against Uber in Spain to be unfair and over the top and asked for Spain to be punished and if necessary taken to the European Court of Justice, a process which could take months or even years.
Although the Madrid court decision is still provisional, it may be confirmed over the next month or two, in which case Uber has declared it is ready to appeal.
“We hope the process encourages other European member states to think about how to deal with Uber instead of just banning the service,” said Macgann.
Uber, which works in 253 cities in 52 different countries, 19 of which are in Europe, has ongoing legal battles in process against Spain, Belgium, Holland and Germany due to complaints from taxi drivers.