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The Latest: Barcelona taxi drivers hail victory over Uber

Published: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 @ 5:26 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 @ 5:26 AM

The Latest on the European Union court ruling that Uber should be regulated as a taxi company (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Taxi drivers honked their horns in central Barcelona to welcome their victory over ride-hailing giant Uber in a European Union court ruling.

The Barcelona-based Elite Taxi professional association filed the complaint against Uber's non-professional drivers service, UberPop, which allowed any private car owner to provide transportation services through the company's app.

Spain banned the UberPop service in 2014, but the ride-hailing company operates through tourism transportation licenses issued in some cities.

Raul Lopez, a taxi owner who has been driving the streets in the Mediterranean port city for 17 years, compared the judicial win to "the fight of David against Goliath."

"It was about time to put an end to the unfair competition of the gig economy companies that are no more than killer whales in a fish tank," Lopez said.

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1:45 p.m.

The Spanish Taxi Federation, which represents just under half of Spain's 70,000 taxis, welcomed the European Union court ruling that Uber should be regulated like a taxi company and not a technology service with "enormous satisfaction."

In a statement, the group said the decision showed Uber had been providing "unfair competition."

It called on Spanish regional authorities to open investigations into Uber's activities in Spain since it first began operations in 2014 and to apply fines if the company is found to have failed to fulfill regulations covering transport services in that time. It estimated that fines could total some 5 billion euros ($6 billion).

Spanish taxi groups regularly stage national strikes against the increase in cars run by private companies offering cheaper, mobile ride-hailing services, claiming a law stipulating that there should be one private cab for every 30 taxis is being flouted.

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11:40 a.m.

The Barcelona-based law firm representing Elite Taxi, the association that filed the lawsuit against Uber that eventually saw Europe's top court rule that the ride-hailing service should be regulated as a taxi company, has hailed the decision.

SBC Abogados said in a statement that the ruling had "great judicial significance" and that it could be "extrapolated to other businesses that keep trying to avoid legal responsibilities in the services that they provide."

Earlier, the European Court of Justice struck down Uber's arguments that it is an information services company, ruling that it should be regulated like a transport company within EU member nations.

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11:20 a.m.

Uber is playing down the EU court ruling saying it should be regulated like a taxi company, and says it will continue to find ways to operate in Europe.

The San Francisco-based company said in a statement that the ruling "will not change things in most EU countries where we already operate under transportation law."

Prompted by legal complaints, some EU countries have already forced Uber and similar ride-hailing services to operate under national transport regulations.

Uber said that it will "continue the dialogue with cities across Europe" to allow access to its services.

Earlier, the European Court of Justice struck down Uber's arguments that it is an information services company, ruling that it should be regulated like a transport company within EU member nations.

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9:50 a.m.

The European Union's top court has ruled that ride-hailing service Uber should be regulated like a taxi company, a decision that could change the way it functions across the continent.

The ruling Wednesday by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice stems from a complaint by a Barcelona taxi drivers association.

The taxi drivers wanted to prevent Uber from setting up in the Spanish city, and said Uber drivers should have authorizations and licenses.

San Francisco-based Uber argued that it should be regulated as a technology service and not a transport company, because it is based on an app that connects drivers to riders.

The court said in a statement that services like Uber must be classified as "a service in the field of transport." The decision could affect such services around the EU.

Glassdoor names 50 most beloved CEOs in America

Published: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 @ 5:41 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 @ 5:01 PM

H-E-B's Charles C. Butt made the list of America's 50 most beloved CEOs.
H-E-B's Charles C. Butt made the list of America's 50 most beloved CEOs.

The chiefs of Facebook, Google, Apple and Texas' beloved H-E-B all made the ranks on job site Glassdoor's list of top-rated CEOs of a large company in the U.S.

Glassdoor determined the 50 rankings by collecting anonymous employee reviews. Beating out well-known names like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, is Bob Bechek at No. 1. Bechek is the worldwide managing director of Bain & Company, a management consultant firm, and received a 99 percent approval rating from employees surveyed. 

Zuckerberg did make top 10 though, along with LinkedIn's Jeff Weiner, Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai. A bit further down the list at No. 19 is H-E-B's CEO Charles C. Butt, who received a 95 percent approval rating. 

Satisfied employees gave reviews like "H-E-B has always been hreat with allowing Partners to have a flexible schedule" while negative reviews said the company is "very demanding" and "has you work full-time hours while keeping you on part-time status."

To see who else made the list and what employees had to say about each company, you can go here.