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Uber wins court battle to continue operating in London

Sept. 28, 2020
3 min read
Uber wins court battle to continue operating in London
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Uber has won its long-lasting legal battle with London regulators. On Monday September 28, Westminster Magistrates' Court said that it deemed Uber a "fit and proper" operator, "despite historical failings," meaning the ride-hailing company can continue operating in one of its largest markets.

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The win for Uber comes three years after Transport for London (TfL) first rejected its license application. Last year, safety concerns surfaced again in which regulators in the capital turned down Uber's license renewal.

In November 2019, regulators refused to renew Uber's license because of a security concern with unauthorized drivers using the app to pick up customers. Westminster Magistrates' Court heard that the security concern allowed 24 drivers to share their accounts with 20 others, leading to 14,788 rides.

Uber insisted that it had fixed the problem, but regulators declined to renew Uber's license in order to make sure there weren't other software issues. Uber appealed that November decision, and during the time since has been permitted to continue operating.

Uber "does not have a perfect record but it has been an improving picture," the judge said. "The test as to whether [Uber] are a 'fit and proper person' does not require perfection. I am satisfied that they are doing what a reasonable business in their sector could be expected to do, perhaps even more."

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The new license is valid for 18 months, and will require that Uber continues to adhere to TfL's conditions, including allowing the organization to monitor that Uber's adhering to regulations.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that historically, TfL was "absolutely right" not to renew Uber's license last year, however, the company had "made improvements."

Uber's issues in London started in September 2017 when regulators originally refused to renew the ride-hailing company's license. Uber then won a 15-month license in June 2018, which was extended by two months in September 2019. However, TfL decided not to grant a new license entirely, a decision that Uber appealed, and as of Monday, won.

"Uber has demonstrated time and time again that it simply can't be trusted to put the safety of Londoners, its drivers and other road users above profit," the Licensed Taxi Driver's Association said. "Sadly, it seems that Uber is too big to regulate effectively but too big to fail."

According to Uber, it has 3.5 million riders and 45,000 licensed drivers in London.

During its appeal process, Uber continued operating — and expanding — in London. In August, the company launched its Uber Boat service, using Thames Clippers boats to transport passengers down the Thames.

Featured image by Getty Images

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Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees