Uber wins new London license following lengthy legal battle

From CNET: Uber scored a victory in the UK on Monday when a judge granted it a new license to operate in London, deeming it "fit and proper." The company has been engaged in a three-year legal battle in the British capital after losing its license in 2017 due to safety concerns.

In a ruling issued at Westminster Magistrates' Court, the judge agreed that Uber could be issued a license to operate in London for the next 18 months, after which time it will be reviewed.

"ULL [Uber London Limited] does not have a perfect record but it has been an improving picture," said the judge, Tan Ikram. "The test as to whether ULL are a 'fit and proper person' does not require perfection. I am satisfied that they are doing what a reasonable business in their sector could be expected to do, perhaps even more."

The Silicon Valley-based ride-hailing company was already a well-established player on London's private hire scene back in September 2017, but when its license came up for renewal its request was denied over safety and security issues, as well as "a lack of corporate responsibility." The company appealed the decision and has managed to keep operating in the city for the past three years while the legal battle played out, even introducing Jump Bikes and taking over the running of London's Thames Clipper commuter boat service.

The concerns that were raised about Uber's operations in London were not unique to the city, and had already resulted in the departure of CEO Travis Kalanick in June 2017. New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi embarked on a major charm offensive in Europe and also made some fundamental changes to the business, including introducing a slew of new safety features to keep passengers and drivers safe.

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