This week's top 3 stories: BMW and Daimler get the greem light, Bird launches trial in London, new rise hailing rules in Portugal.
1. BMW and Daimler get green light from European Commission for joint ventures
German car giants BMW and Daimler's plans for six joint ventures which bring together their on-demand transport offerings gained approval from competition regulators in the European Commission. The joint ventures cover car sharing, ride hailing, parking and electric vehicle charging, amongst other things.
The Commission found that the joint ventures would raise competition concerns for car sharing in Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich and Vienna, where DriveNow (BMW) and car2go (Daimler) have strong positions. The Commission accepted remedies proposed by BMW and Daimler which mean that they will provide API access for third party aggregator platforms to integrate ride sharing into their apps and for Daimler's moovel integrator app to be made available as a platform for other car sharing providers. However, these remedies only apply in the six cities of concern so the joint ventures have a clearer path to cement their position in other European cities.
2. Bird launches first commercial electric scooters in the UK
Bird has launched a very limited service on a small strip of private land running from the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford through the Olympic Park to the Here East tech campus. In the UK electric scooters are illegal to use on public roads and pavements, but there's nothing to stop you riding them on private land. Bird say they want to work with government and cities authorities to establish a proper regulatory framework for electric scooters.
3. New ride hailing rules come into force in Portugal
A new law regulating the ride hailing industry has come into force in Portugal. Ride hailing trips will now be taxed at 5%, as opposed to the previous 0.1%, and operators are obliged to obtain a licence, which lasts for ten years. Drivers are obliged to pass a specialist training course, and must have a written contract with the companies whose platforms they use. They are also prohibited from working for more than ten hours a day. Taxi drivers have been protesting against the law in the major cities of Lisbon, Porto and Faro, since September.
This is a weekly note covering the top three developments in the regulation of on-demand transport in Europe. It covers taxis, ride-sharing, car sharing, carpooling, bikes, e-bikes, scooters, shared mopeds and anything else that's relevant to the sector.
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