Uber will on Friday file its legal appeal against losing its licence to operate in London, with the ride-hailing company set to take on the city’s transport regulator in court.
An Uber spokesman confirmed to Business Insider the company had not yet filed its appeal. If Uber fails to file before the end of the day, it will no longer be permitted to operate in London.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said on Thursday that the appeal against regulator Transport for London “will take its course” during a City Hall question time session.
The legal battle follows purported peace talks between Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s new chief executive, and TfL commissioner Mike Brown. The pair met on October 3, a fortnight after Uber lost its licence, and both sides described the talks as “constructive”, but gave no further detail.
Khosrowshahi also published an open letter in London newspaper The Evening Standard apologising for his company’s prior misdemeanours. He didn’t go into specifics, but TfL said it banned Uber because of the company’s alleged use of its secret “Greyball” software to avoid regulators, and its approach to reporting crime.
Alongside the outward apologies, Uber launched a lobbying campaign to get its London customers onside. It launched a “Save Your Uber” petition, prominently visible to anyone using the Uber app in the British capital, which has now racked up more than 850,000 supporters.
Uber also claimed TfL’s decision would affect its 3.5 million London customers, and then 40,000 drivers who use the app for work. But this week, one MP grilling Uber’s UK policy chief described the company as a “hypocrite”, given that it is also appealing against driver rights in a separate legal battle.
Labour MP Peter Kyle said: “Your initial reaction was that TfL is putting 40,000 people out of business. You are going to court denying responsibility for those people in the first place. So the word on everyone’s lips was ‘hypocrite,’ wasn’t it?”
Uber’s UK policy chief Andrew Byrne responded: “I don’t know, I think we are conscious of the fact that 40,000 people who do use Uber to make money in London. That fact weighs heavily in our response. Hopefully we can see a path forward with TfL.”
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