Ride-hailing apps get the green light from top administrative court
Top court strikes down challenge to legality of Uber, Careem: The Supreme Administrative Court overturned a ban on ride-hailing apps, allowing them to operate freely in Egypt, Reuters reported. The court accepted an appeal filed by Uber and Careem against a lower court ruling last March that saw the services banned after a group of taxi drivers claimed both companies were operating illegally by using private cars for commercial operations. Uber and Careem were allowed to continue under a Court of Urgent Matters ruling pending the Supreme Administrative Court ruling. Bloomberg also has the story this morning.
Ride-hailing companies can turn this page, but more awaits them: Uber, Careem and other companies are awaiting the executive regulations of the Ride-Hailing Act, which will likely introduce a new levy of EGP 2-5 per trip. Meanwhile, Uber and Careem are now charging and remitting VAT. They were also told by the Egyptian Competition Authority that a prospective combination of their businesses could violate Egypt’s competition act.
Egypt is a regional darling for both companies: Uber has said that it sees Egypt as one of its most promising markets in the Middle East and has launched a new bus service in Cairo. Careem said last year it was investing USD 100 mn in launching a bus service that it is currently expanding.