When Confebús (Spanish federation of Transport by Bus) led to Blablacar to trial, the judge Andrés Sánchez Magro refused to take precautionary measures, so that Blablacar continued to operate normally. That was last year. Now comes the verdict, and gives the reason to Blablacar: there is not unfair competition against the sector of the bus, the lawsuit has been dismissed.
In the judgment is set the activity of Blablacar are not based on the transportation of people, is a platform for mediation between drivers and passengers to share the cost of a trip. Therefore, no one can speak of unfair competition against professional companies that perform a similar service.
“I acquit and absolve the defendants of the claims against them be deducted, without express pronouncement of costs.”
Confebús has not lost the war, so you still have time to appeal this ruling, but it certainly has been a great setback. The judge practically gives the reason in everything to Blablacar, something that obviously has been celebrated in the popular social network.
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All the arguments of the defence have been accepted by the magistrate. It recognizes the existence of a system of payments, the commission in order to maintain the service, the prices can be set, within certain margins… and that occasionally, it may be a shameless guy that lucre going on trips and taking over of the expenses.
The platform recommended prices between 6 and 9 cents per kilometer, far away from the barrier of 19 cents, which means the Administration costs involved in moving a vehicle (when considering all the expenses). On the other hand, the amount of the commission is understood as a way of sustaining the service.
Actually can be cases of profit on Blablacar, but since the platform is monitored so this does not happen, alerting other passengers of the trip is above average, also warns the driver that the price is too high, and by the own system of evaluation and rating of the passengers. those users were just banned from the platform.
The account @confebus silent on Twitter
Meanwhile, Blablacar has another front opened against the Community of Madrid, which expedientó to the company and to two private drivers to provide transportation services without a license, condemning them to pay 16.800 euros. The judgment is under appeal and has been brought before the European Commission.
The judgment of the judge Sánchez Magro goes in the opposite direction. Blablacar does not have drivers on the payroll, or are trading, and transport are performed with or without passengers. The arguments of the prosecution have been falling one by one. On the other hand, this sentence is a point in favor of the calls companies of economy collaborative.
we Cannot mix this with Uber, as it was the same court (and same judge), which it determined to do transports with private cars and with a clear profit is outside of the legality of spain. Right now, Uber operates in Spain, but with professional drivers license VTC, that is to say, following the rules of the game. UberPOP, with private drivers, has not been put back in place.
Blablacar is waiting for the ruling of the european court with regard to his battle against the Community of Madrid, and eventually you will need to follow by using their lawyers if Confebús appeals the judgment of the Court of Mercantile number 2 of Madrid. If in 20 days it has not been appealed, the judgment shall be final.
anyway, the judge understood that the issue is not sufficiently regulated, but that does not mean that the services should be prohibited. In addition, it is relevant to comment that the first foundations of law expressed in the judgment, defend the independence of the Judiciary even before the press. In other words, the judge complains have been pressed.
therefore, Blablacar was and is legal, unless there is a further regulation. Drivers do not have to fear inspections of transport, unless you are looking deliberately to make a profit. Otherwise, it is an activity outside of the LOTT, so that it would not violate that policy by sharing expenses with other people.