Should Uber Be Allowed to Compete in Europe? And If so How?

15 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2015 Last revised: 3 Sep 2015

See all articles by Damien Geradin

Damien Geradin

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Geradin Partners; University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Competition Policy; University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: June 7, 2015

Abstract

Uber’s arrival in Europe has generated massive demonstrations by taxi drivers and a number of court judgments banning or restricting Uber’s services on the ground that the company engaged in “unfair competition”. Uber and other online-enabled car transportation services to connect passengers with drivers offer an attractive alternative to regular taxi services. The difficulty is that these services are protected by regulatory measures that create significant barriers to entry. Uber’s business model presents many efficiencies and there is little doubt that it will prevail over time. Regulatory authorities thus face two options. One option is to resist the market entry of Uber and other similar companies. This approach would deprive users of attractive services and trigger many years of litigation. The other option is to embrace technological change and allow Uber to compete on a level playing field with taxi companies. The regulatory changes that will be needed raise complex questions, but these questions are unavoidable and it is important to tackle them early. Taxi companies can also embrace technologies and rely on the competing online-enabled car transportation services platforms that are already available to them.

Keywords: Taxi services, Uber, regulation, competition, regulation, disruptive business models, online platforms

JEL Classification: K21, K23, L43, L44, L50, L62, O33

Suggested Citation

Geradin, Damien, Should Uber Be Allowed to Compete in Europe? And If so How? (June 7, 2015). Forthcoming in Competition Policy International (2015), George Mason Legal Studies Research Paper No. LS 15-11, George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 15-29, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2615530

Damien Geradin (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

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Geradin Partners ( email )

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University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Competition Policy ( email )

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University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

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