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Uber Approaches London Court Against Regulatory Ban On Its Operations

Uber Approaches London Court Against Regulatory Ban On Its Operations
Uber has contended in the court in the UK that the company is “fit” to start operations in London following the its operations being banned in the city by regulators last year as its license to operate was cancelled.
Uber was accused of exhibiting a "lack of corporate responsibility" in relation to "public safety and security," by the regulatory agency Transport for London. The agency further said that the company had not renewed a license which gave permission to the US based ride hailing company to operate in London.
The company has however been allowed to operate in London sine October after it appealed against the ban. Despite the visit of the Chief Executive of the company Dara Khosrowshahi toi London and his meeting with the regulators with the aim of placating their concerns, the regulators have not changed its position about the company. 
Uber has filed an appeal to overturn the ban at the Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday. The hearing is likely to last several days.
The company which has support from the likes of Goldman Sachs and SoftBank and its market value is over $60 billion. reportedly plans to argue in court that there have bene significant changes made in the company operations to cater to the concerns of the regulators. 
Instead of allowing the drivers and riders to decide on reporting serious incidents to the police, the company has now decided to itself report such incidents to the police. The company also announced a mandatory break of 6 hours for its drivers after every 10-hour shift in January this year.
The London market is very crucial for Uber. The city has more than 3.6 million regular users of the Uber app and more than 45,000 drivers also use the service.
In order to show to the regulators that the company has indeed changed its way of doing business, Uber plans to seek license for a period of 18 months in place of the customary 5 year period that it had asked for last year.
The stalemate over the future of Uber in London would continue to persist even after the court hearing because either of the parties could theoretically make another appeal even after the the judge makes a decision once.
Established taxi firms and regulators have been opposing the operations of Uber in a number of major cities in Europe.
Dara Khosrowshahi became the CEO of the company last year replacing it’s the founder Travis Kalanick. The leadership of Kalanick was rife with a number of scandals which included allegations of sexism and bullying. Currently, the company is undergoing a reform process especially because it is slated to launch a massive initial public offering in 2019.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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