Uber Defeats ‘Tenuous’ Challenge From London Cabbies

(Bloomberg) -- London taxi drivers lost a legal bid to challenge Uber Technologies Inc.’s license to operate in the U.K. capital.

Judges Ian Burnett and Michael Supperstone on Tuesday dismissed a legal challenge by United Cabbies Group, which represents taxi drivers in the city.

  • The drivers’ group wanted to challenge a lower court’s decision in June to grant Uber a 15-month probationary license. That decision by Judge Emma Arbuthnot came after London’s transit authority revoked its earlier permit, citing safety concerns.
  • Cabbies had challenged Arbuthnot’s decision, which their lawyer, Robert Griffiths, said earlier this month was based on “wholly unsatisfactory reasoning.”
  • Uber, and United Cabbies’ Group, didn’t immediately comment on the ruling.
  • Cab drivers said Arbuthnot’s ruling was also “tainted by actual or apparent bias” because she decided in August, soon after making her original determination, not to hear a further case involving Uber. Her decision followed a newspaper report that her husband worked for a strategy firm that has advised the Qatar Investment Authority, one of Uber’s investors, the group said.
  • The cabbies’ case alleging bias is “tenuous,” the judges ruled. It’s reminiscent of “the old song with the lyrics ‘I danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales,”’ they said.

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