Administrative law

CJEU judgment concerning a taxi ordering application

On December 3, 2020, the CJEU issued a judgment in the case of Star Taxi App SRL v Unitatea Administrativ Teritorială Municipiul Bucureşti prin Primar General and others (C-62/19), in which it resolved important issues regarding the legal conditions for the operation of the taxi ordering application.

The CJEU stated that the Star Taxi App is an information society service within the meaning of Art. 2 lit. a) of Directive 2000/31 / EC on e-commerce, because it is an intermediary service consisting in the possibility of establishing, for remuneration, contacts between people wishing to travel an urban route and authorized taxi drivers.

In the case of this service, the provider of this service concludes contracts for the provision of services with drivers in return for the payment of a monthly subscription, but does not transfer orders to them, does not specify the price for the course, nor does it collect it from interested persons who pay it directly to taxi drivers, and has no control over the quality of vehicles and their drivers, or their behavior.

The status of the taxi ordering application is therefore completely different from the Uber application, however, as part of the brokerage service provided by Uber, the provision of urban transport services by non-professional drivers previously absent on the market was created and made available.

However, unlike the service provided by Uber (case Asociación Profesional Elite Taxi, C-434/15), the service provided by the Star Taxi App cannot be considered as an integral part of the transport service.

Consequently, pursuant to Articles 9 and 10 of Directive 2006/123, Member States should not require service providers covered by an application to order taxis to obtain a prior permission to carry out a transport activity if the conditions for obtaining such authorization do not meet the requirements provided for in those articles, in particular due to the establishment of technical obligations inadequate for the service in question. The above is subject to verification by the national court.

Author team leader DKP Legal Michał Puk
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