Language of document :

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Juzgado Mercantil No 3 de Barcelona (Spain) lodged on 7 August 2015 — Asociación Profesional Élite Taxi v Uber Systems Spain, S.L.

(Case C-434/15)

Language of the case: Spanish

Referring court

Juzgado Mercantil No 3 de Barcelona

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Asociación Profesional Élite Taxi

Defendant: Uber Systems Spain, S.L.

Questions referred

Inasmuch as Article 2(2)(d) of Directive 2006/123/EC 1 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market excludes transport activities from the scope of that directive, must the activity carried out for profit by the defendant, consisting of acting as an intermediary between the owner of a vehicle and a person who needs to make a journey within a city, by managing the IT resources — in the words of the defendant, ‘intelligent telephone and technological platform’ interface and software application — which enable them to connect with one another, be considered to be merely a transport service or must it be considered to be an electronic intermediary service or an information society service, as defined by Article 1(2) of Directive 98/34/EC 2 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations and of rules on Information Society services?

Within the identification of the legal nature of that activity[,] can it be considered to be … in part an information society service, and, if so, ought the electronic intermediary service to benefit from the principle of freedom to provide services as guaranteed in the Community legislation — Article 56 TFEU and Directives 2006/123/EC and … 2000/31/ EC? 3

If the service provided by UBER SYSTEMS SPAIN, S.L. were not to be considered to be a transport service and were therefore considered to fall within the cases covered by Directive 2006/123, the question arising is whether Article 15 of the Law on Unfair competition — concerning the infringement of rules governing competitive activity — is contrary to Directive 2006/123, specifically Article 9 on freedom of establishment and authorisation schemes, when the reference to national laws or legal provisions is made without taking into account the fact that the scheme for obtaining licences, authorisations and permits may not be in any way restrictive or disproportionate, that is, it may not unreasonably impede the principle of freedom of establishment.

If it is confirmed that Directive 2000/31/EC is applicable to the service provided by UBER SYSTEMS SPAIN, S.L., the question arising is whether restrictions in one Member State [regarding] the freedom to provide the electronic intermediary service from another Member State, in the form of making the service subject to an authorisation or a licence, or in the form of an injunction prohibiting provision of the electronic intermediary service based on the application of the national legislation on unfair competition, are valid measures that constitute derogations from paragraph 2 in accordance with Article 3(4) of Directive 2000/31/EC.


1 OJ 2006 L 376, p. 36.

2 OJ 1998 L 204, p. 37.

3 Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (‘Directive on electronic commerce’) (OJ 2000 L 178, p. 1).