As Uber cries foul in Europe, EC advises it to first follow the law

Uber says it has filed complaints against Germany, France and Spain

Uber Technologies needs to operate within existing laws, the European Commission said on Wednesday giving an update about complaints filed by the U.S. taxi hailing company against EU governments.

Uber has gotten into trouble in the EU with UberPop, a ride-hailing service in the Uber app that connects passengers with drivers who use their private cars and offer rides for fares often far below those from regular taxis.

UberPop has been banned in several EU countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain for violating taxi regulations and competition rules. Uber is fighting these bans in several ways, including by filing complaints with the European Commission.

At the moment, the Commission has received two complaints against France and one against Germany, Commission spokesman Jakub Adamowicz said during a news conference. He could not confirm receiving a third complaint against Spain. An Uberspokesman said the company has filed complaints against the three countries.

The complaints are currently being examined, and the Commission is taking its time to analyze them, Adamowicz said, adding that the filing of a complaint doesn't automatically trigger an infringement procedure.

"What we've always said about Uber though, we don't close the doors to possibilities offered by new technologies. But we do think that things need to happen within a framework which also covers existing legislation," he said.

New technologies like Uber offers a lot of potential, but regulations for transport services like taxis fall within the authority of EU countries, he said. "Of course the Commission is following this very closely but the Commission is also aware that the member states have a very important role to play themselves," he said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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