Services such as ride-hailing app Uber and home-rental site Airbnb should only be banned as a last resort, the European Commission said on Thursday (2 June), as it seeks to foster development of the "sharing economy".
The European Commission will ask member states to review and amend legislation, when necessary, to end the fragmentation faced by Uber, Airbnb and other collaborative platforms in Europe, EURACTIV.com has learned.
The European Commission's highly anticipated views on the sharing economy are expected to pave the way towards a solution to outstanding complaints put forward against the likes of Uber and Airbnb in a number of EU countries.
Uber, Airbnb and BlaBlaCar could score an important victory soon as the Spanish regulator is set to recommend lifting all the “unjustified barriers” limiting the sharing economy in the country, which is seen as the most restrictive member state for this new business model.
The National Authority for Markets and Competition in Madrid is set to publish a groundbreaking report calling for eliminating unjustified barriers against services such as Uber and Airbnb, EURACTIV has learned.
With "sharing economy" services like Uber, Blablacar and Airbnb spreading among consumers, state tax collectors risk experiencing a revenue pinch as these new collaborative players capture market share from traditional businesses.
As Uber continues to expand, taxi drivers are looking for allies inside the European Commission before the executive takes its position on the legal challenges posed by the ride-hailing service, and the so-called sharing economy as a whole.
A Spanish judge has asked Europe's top court if online taxi-hailing app Uber is a "mere transport service" or a digital service, as the US start-up claims, in a case that could set a precedent for legal battles across the continent.
The European Commission confirmed on Wednesday that it had received a complaint against a German ban on Uber offering its unlicensed services. A spokesman for the company said it had filed a similar complaint against Spain on Monday.