Ride hailing phone app Uber is a taxi service and can be regulated, an EU Court has ruled.
The ruling from Europe's highest court found that Uber "must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as 'a service in the field of transport'".
In short this means Uber has now been officially recognised as a cab company rather than a technology company, as the company had argued.
One implication of the ruling is that the company will now be regulated as transport company, meaning that rules can be set at country level.
In contrast, rules for digital platforms are set Europe-wide.
While the long-running case, which originated in Spain, is not legally binding but is likely to foreshadow the decision in the majority of cases.
Uber has previously insisted that the outcome of this case will not affect its business.
As a transport service, the ride hailing app will be "excluded from the scope of the freedom to provide services in general" as well as "on services in the internal market and the directive on electronic commerce".
Importantly, the court says Uber should be classified as "a service in the field of transport" rather than "an information society service".
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For this reason Uber's intermediation service must be regarded as forming an integral part of an overall service whose main component is transport.