The Atlantic

Europe's Message to Silicon Valley: Tech Is Not Special

The EU's highest court ruled that Uber isn’t just an app—it's a transportation company.
Source: Rafael Marchante / Reuters

What is Uber? The company’s standard answer is that it is a technology company—an app that matches people who want to get somewhere to people who will take them there for money. This is not wrong.

But, as the European Union’s highest court told the company on Wednesday, that answer is incomplete. Whether Uber likes it or not, it is, officially speaking, a transportation company.

The consequence of this designation is that, within the borders of the EU, the company will be regulated just like any other transportation company. That’s a big deal. It’s

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