Uber Loses Its License for Operation in London

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Uber Technologies Inc. is a private and American employ corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California. The corporation has a global presence in almost 633 locations. It also develops, markets, and manages the Uber food distribution and car transportation smartphone applications. Uber recently lost its operating license in London. The company’s history of disrespect for local laws, as well as controversies, is the primary reason that London refused to renew the company’s ride-hailing license to operate in the capital, which is also its largest market in Europe (Rao, Prashant & Mike, n. p). The London’s transport Agency last Friday declared that the Company was not satisfactorily ‘‘fit and proper.’’ This is because it is the agency responsible for overseeing the buses, taxicabs, and subways of the city. Besides, the Agency argued that the Company has for a long time demonstrated lack of corporate responsibility, which is undermining the public security and safety. It also claimed that the Company has failed in reporting sexual assaults by some of its drivers. Other cases that resulted in the decline of renewing its license is its recent scandals in the United States, such as the allegations of discrimination, a toxic culture, the firing of executives and employees that are implicated in sexual assault, as well as the lawsuits concerning the mishandling of medical data of passengers (Tracey, n. p). Additionally, as reported by Sun newspaper, some drivers of the company were suspected to obtain medical documents that are falsified, which provided them all-clear of driving for Uber. Also, background checks of almost a tenth of the Company’s driver workforce are all invalid, and thus the reason for declining to renew its operational license.

From a personal perspective, the London’s Transport Agency was right in declining to renew the Uber’s operational license in the city. The London authority required that any taxi services within the city must play by the set rules, something that Uber Company took for granted, and thus there was no need of renewing its license to operate. However much Uber was providing an innovative service in the city, it was not to be at the expense of security and safety of its customers. Besides, once a company fails to ensure security and safety to its clients, the authority will have no choice but to terminate the license or even not to renew it, and this makes an individual to completely agree with the decision taken by London’s transport authority (Warren, n. p). Furthermore, the business strategy experts have recently pointed out that Uber has an uncooperative track record. For instance, the London’s Metropolitan police have accused the company of failing in reporting sexual assault committed by one driver, a situation that led the driver to strike again. However, one can argue that if Uber could have reported the first sexual offense to the police, then one can assume that the second sexual assault could have been prevented. Therefore, this is enough evidence and reason to make the company lose its operational license, and thus one can fully agree that declining to renew the company’s operational license was the right decision taken by the London’s Transport Authority. It is because it will guarantee the security and safety of the people of London.

Although Uber notes that its pioneering technology has gone further for enhancing customer safety with every trip that is tracked and recorded, this is not the case since it is not true. Besides, the company does not have a dedicated team working closely with the city’s Metropolitan Police as it claims. Although Uber seems to be disappointed with the decision made by the London’s Transport Authority, it should realize that this Agency does not come up with such an important decision without conducting a thorough investigation. Therefore, the company should not complain but should just wait for the ruling of the appeal from the London’s courts, and it should as well refrain from any speculations or giving false information regarding the decision taken by the Agency. Besides, Uber, instead of speculations should investigate the reasons that led to the Agency in declining to renew its license as it seems that it has happened in some regions as well (Lomas, n. p). For instance, on Thursday, the appeals court in Netherlands also upheld the ban on the company to operate in Netherlands since the company has been illegally operating its low-cost UberPop ride-hailing. Besides, a similar scenario also happened in France, in which their authorities took the same case to the European Union’s Court of Justice, in which the company’s two executives were fined nearly $500,000 each after being convicted of similar issues.

There are also some counterarguments regarding the move by London’s Transport Authority to decline in renewing the operational license of Uber. If the London’s Transport Agency and mayor’s decision stand or upheld by the Court, it implies that more than 40,000 licensed drivers would be put out of work. Moreover, this will deprive many Londoners an affordable and convenient form of transport. It is because companies such as ‘Greyball’ has never been considered or utilized in London as the mode of transportation for the reasons best cited by Transport for London. Besides, what is so unusual about the decision by London for not renewing Uber’s license is that the regulators have cited no particular violation. In its place, the decision was aimed at Uber’s approach to safety and transparency, which branding and business experts assert that is more an indictment of the culture of Uber Company (Lomas, n. p). However, the company’s best move now besides appealing the decision is to start mobilizing their customers and drivers in petitioning the regulators, as well as to request for a license extension for proving to the regulators that it can as well be cooperative.

In conclusion, Uber’s history of scandals and disregard for the London’s local rule could be the main reason why the city’s transport authority declined to renew its operating license within London. Some of these disregards include some of the company’s drivers obtained falsified medical documents, which they have been using to drive for the company. Also, from an individual’s point of view, London was right to decline in renewing the operating license for the Uber Company. This is because the company did not play by the rules as was a must requirement by the London Authority and thus there was the need to decline to renew its license. Additionally, all the claims by Uber are based on false information. For instance, it argues that it has a pioneering technology that has gone further to enhance the safety of the customer, but that is not the truth of the matter as according to London’s Metropolitan Police. Finally, the move by London not to renew the license will result in more than 40,000 drivers losing their work.

Works Cited

Lomas, Natasha. “Uber loses its license to operate in London.” 22 Sept. 2017, techcrunch.com/2017/09/22/uber-loses-its-license-to-operate-in-london/. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.

Rao, Prashant S., and Mike Isaac. “Uber Loses License to Operate in London.” 22 Sept. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/business/uber-london.html.

Tracey, Lien. “Uber’s latest setback: Loss of license to operate in London.” 22 Sept. 2017, file:///C:/Users/MARK/Downloads/ProQuestDocuments-2017-09-30.pdf. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.

Tracey, Lien. “Uber’s latest setback: Uber losing its license to operate in London; City agency says the ride-hailing firm is not ‘fit and proper.’ The company will appeal.” 23 Sept. 2017, file:///C:/Users/MARK/Downloads/ProQuestDocuments-2017-09-30-2.pdf. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.

Warren, Tom. “Uber loses its license to operate in London.” 22 Sept. 2017, www.theverge.com/2017/9/22/16349070/uber-london-tfl-license. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.

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