ROME: An Italian court Friday lifted a temporary ban on the use of smartphone apps for Uber pending a definitive ruling in the case, which pitches the ride-sharing service against taxi drivers.
The use of various phone applications for Uber on Italian territory was provisionally banned last week by the court, which said they contribute to traditional taxis facing unfair competition and must be closed down from April 17.
Uber appealed, and on Friday the court agreed to lift the ban until a final ruling in the case.
“We are very pleased to be able to communicate to all drivers and Uber users in Italy that they will be able to continue using the application until the court rules,” Uber said in a statement.
Uber does not employ drivers or own its vehicles, but instead uses non-professionally licensed contractors with their own cars. It therefore considers itself a player in the “sharing economy”, which allows drivers to operate their own business.
Taxi operators say it represents unfair competition because Uber drivers can flout the rules and restrictions that regulate the professionals, while being paid for their services.