AUSTRALIA’S highest court has ruled that the City of Sydney has the right to block a company from operating in the city.
Key points:The court said the city could be forced to pay $1.3bn to settle claims against UberThe court also found the city can ban UberX, a competitor to the service, as long as it does not block or hinder itA federal court in California is considering a similar case, and Uber’s lawyers said it would appeal.
The city’s legal team has been fighting to keep Uber out of the city for three years, arguing the service is illegal and would create competition in the transportation market.
They say the company’s ridesharing service would disrupt Sydney’s economy, increase crime and cost jobs.
The court’s decision means the city’s only other option is to seek damages from Uber and force it to shut down.
In the process, the court also ruled the city cannot ban the service and that the city does not have to pay Uber $1bn.
“This is an important decision,” NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said.
“We have an obligation to ensure that any future taxi drivers will not be disadvantaged by the service.”
In particular, the city must ensure that all taxi drivers are paid the proper amount of money.
“The court found that the taxi industry in Sydney was a “large, well-funded, highly competitive” market.”
This court is well aware that the market for taxis is not as vibrant as the market in New York City or Los Angeles, and has noted the market as being very competitive,” it said.
It said the taxi market was “one of the few places in Sydney where a taxi driver’s earning power is so much higher than the average New Yorker’s earnings”.”
While it may be tempting to think that the costs of competition are being absorbed by Uber, this is not the case,” the court said.
The court heard that the ride-hailing company would make more money in the market if it did not compete with taxis, and would make a profit if the city allowed the service to operate.”
There is an obvious conflict between the City’s objective to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens, and the interests of Uber, which would be adversely affected if the City did not allow Uber to operate,” the ruling said.
It said if the taxi and ride-share companies continued to operate in Sydney, “the City’s interest in regulating the taxi trade would be seriously diminished”.’
We don’t want to see any competition’The case is part of an ongoing dispute between the city and Uber, and lawyers representing the city argue it is the city that has the power to shut the company down.
The case was brought by Sydney taxi drivers in 2015.
The City argued that Uber should not operate in the CBD, as it was competing with taxis.
In 2016, the City said Uber should cease operating in Sydney because it had no licence, and its drivers were unable to access the same level of compensation and benefits as those working for taxis.
The decision came after a five-month trial.
Uber has said it will appeal the decision.
Sydney Mayor Clover Moore said the ruling was “a significant victory for drivers in this city”.”
The drivers have taken a stand against Uber because of the cost and harm it would cause to their livelihoods,” she said.