Online Intermediation Platforms and Free Trade Principles – Some Reflections on the Uber Preliminary Ruling Case
20 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2016
Date Written: April 5, 2016
Commercial Court No 3 of Barcelona sent a request for a preliminary ruling to the CJEU regarding the extent to which Uber which operated its uberPOP service in Spain without an authorization from the Spanish authorities should be protected by EU law provisions designed to ensure the free movement of services in the European Union. The paper demonstrates that uberPOP is not a “transport service” falling under under Title VI TFEU, but an “information society service” within the meaning of the E-commerce Directive. Therefore, uberPop benefits from the protection against undue trade restrictions provided by this directive, as well as by Article 56 TFEU. This implies that regulatory requirements that do not protect a public interest objective in a proportionate and non-discriminatory manner are incompatible with EU law. The judgment of the CJEU will have significant implications on the way EU Member States are able to regulate Uber services, but also the services provided by other intermediation platforms in the future.
Keywords: Uber, competition, intermediation platforms, competition, innovation, free movement of services, European Union
JEL Classification: K20, K42, L43, L86, L91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation