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EU advises members to be more friendly with Uber and Airbnb

Engadget Engadget 1/06/2016 Mariella Moon
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A yet-to-be-released European Union proposal advises member countries to be a bit more open to sharing companies like Uber and Airbnb. According to the guidelines Reuters and The Financial Times got their hands on, the commission wants its members to resort to only ban sharing companies as a last resort. Part of the proposal reads: "Total bans of an activity constitute a measure of last resort that should be applied only if and where no less restrictive requirements to attain a public interest can be used."

If a country wants to protect local companies and businesses, it should impose limits first before going for an outright ban. For instance, it could only allow people to book Airbnb rentals for a few days at most. Last year, French authorities suspended UberPOP and arrested two Uber execs for running the service illegally. Airbnb faced similar resistance and regulatory hurdles in the region, as well. These guidelines, which the commission is slated to release on Thursday, could help member countries be more welcoming to sharing companies.

As Fortune points out, though, they come with conditions the companies might not be able to meet. One part of the proposal says operators could be considered as employees if they can't set their own prices or choose their own customers. That'll certainly be an issue for Uber, a company taken to court many times by drivers/contractors fighting to be recognized as employees.

Reuters, Fortune, Financial Times

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