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Gizmodo London

Uber Gets to Stay in London, For Now – Gizmodo

Illustration for article titled Uber Gets to Stay in London, For Now

Image: Leon Neal (Getty Images)

Uber got itself out of another pickle today, after a judge restored its license to operate in London for the next 18 months. Uber is terribly sorry, Uber fucked up, and Uber will do better next time. Sounds familiar…

That’s because Londoners heard that line in 2017, the last time Uber was nearly booted from London. After a UK court took away the company’s ability to classify its drivers as self-employed, local regulator Transport for London (TfL) declined to renew Uber’s license, declaring that it was not adequately “fit and proper,” an astonishingly British legal term essentially meaning unable to carry out an occupied position or court judgement. Uber was allowed to continue operating through an appeals process and regained a 15-month license in 2018.

It lost its license again last year, after those same regulators found “a pattern of failures,” primarily regarding an easy-to-dupe system that allowed people to pose as Uber drivers by uploading their photos to authorized drivers’ accounts, which they estimate involved some 14,788 trips by 24 fake drivers. Somehow, the service was still allowed operate during the lengthy appeals process anyway—which brings us to now.

TfL’s focus remains Uber’s insufficient vetting and reporting processes—including that three Uber drivers who committed sexual assault continued to drive after complaints. In his decision, Deputy Chief Magistrate Tanweer Ikram wrote that Uber had acted quickly enough to meet the “fit and proper” bar. In this case, Ikram weighed whether Uber still poses a significant enough threat to public safety to merit banishment. He essentially decided that the overall number of fraudulent drivers is an acceptable level of risk relative to a company with 45,000 drivers in London; that, after it lost its license, Uber had implemented sufficient software and reporting safeguards to prevent more violations and assault; and that Uber’s been more communicative with TfL.

Amazing how quickly Uber can fix systemic problems when its ass is on the line!

“[Uber] does not have a perfect record but it has been an improving picture,” he wrote. “I am satisfied that they are doing what a reasonable business in their sector could be expected to do, perhaps even more.”

G/O Media may get a commission

Uber’s Northern and Eastern Europe regional manager Jamie Heywood said that Uber “will continue working productively with TfL” though Uber has no choice but to do that. The judge’s brief 18 month license is conditional on safety reports. The 18-month license is more like probation than getting off scot-free. Typically taxi licenses in London last five years, as was the length of Uber’s pre-2017 license.

On another front, Uber’s still fighting its scorched earth war against workers, dragging a labor rights case all the way to the UK Supreme Court, which will decide whether its gig workers are entitled to employees’ rights like paid time off and minimum wages. Similarly, they’ve managed to do business as usual in California as they wind through the appeals process to a Superior Court’s ruling t
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Broncos London

Broncos will not play 2020 game in London following NFL announcement – DenverBroncos.com

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos’ potential trip to London has been cancelled.

The NFL announced Monday that all 256 regular-season games will be held in the United States.

“After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico and UK,” NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer Christopher Halpin said via NFL.com. “We greatly appreciate the support of our governmental and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom, who all agree with this decision, and we look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season.

“We also thank our incredible fans in those territories for their passionate support of the NFL. We will continue to serve them through our outstanding media partners and by being active supporters of both grassroots football and COVID-19 relief efforts in Mexico and the UK.”

The Broncos were previously expected to travel to London and had begun planning for the trip, though the league never made an official announcement about the game.

Denver’s matchup with the Atlanta Falcons would have been one of four games to be played in London in 2020. The league was also expected to hold a game in Mexico City.

The Broncos have not played in an international game since the 2010 season.

The 2020 regular-season schedule is expected to be released by May 9, and the Broncos’ game against the Falcons will now be scheduled for Atlanta.

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