Uber may have been issued a reprieve in London, but will it be able to keep regulators at bay in the
With Uber managing to overturn Transport for London's refusal to renew their operators licence on the grounds that they weren't a fit and proper operator, you would be forgiven for thinking that Uber operating freely in the rest of Europe would be plain sailing. Well, it seems that the rest of Europe may be a more difficult nut to crack than first anticipated.
On the back of a major charm offensive, as well as capitulating to certain requirements prescribed by TfL, which included a dedicated 24/7 helpline, full co-operation with the police and limiting driver hours, Uber were granted a 15 month licence to operate in London.
This approach may not work in the rest of Europe, where only recently the European Union's highest court ruled that Uber were a transportation company.
As regulatory reforms take place in the rest of Europe, Uber will find it more difficult to operate in their current format without having to push prices up, and may have to adapt their business model to that akin of a typical European taxi operator.
In the past, Uber had attempt to circumvent numerous regulations by claiming that it was a tech platform rather than a transportation platform, however, with the EU court ruling, even countries who are hardened Uber-files will have to force Uber to comply with any given national taxi standard.
Although the London case was seen as a defeat for TfL by the taxi industry, in the rest of Europe it has been seen as the opposite, as TfL managed to extract a number of concessions from Uber, previously thought as near-impossible to do.
The costs to Uber's European operation could be heavy as they are forced to comply with numerous regulations.
Uber operate to a system which requires them to move quickly and crush the competition with low prices, thus emerging as the only player in town, this is how the Uber product is sold to investors.
Uber's pricing structure is subsidised by venture capitalists, as soon as investors pull out, prices have to rise. If the European mainland market proves too troublesome, Uber may decide to cut their losses.