A London court has just overturned the TfL ban on Uber operating in London. Uber has been given a licence to operate for 15 months “on probation,” which means, of course, that it will ensure during that time that it meets the conditions required to let it keep operating thereafter.
This is a victory for the consumer. Although the word “safety” was mentioned, as it was for Southern Rail, no-one should doubt that this is price-fixing. It is an attempt by an established group to keep out newcomers or new systems in order to retain advantages given in excess of what the market would have yielded them. Taxi numbers are limited, and entry made difficult, in order to keep up prices. Uber uses new systems to provide a cheaper service.
This is how the economy moves, and how we all get richer. New ideas and new technologies supplant the old, claiming less of our resources, and leaving us with more money to spend on other things. Nearly always the uncompetitive merchants of the status quo try to use laws to thwart this process. Usually, and eventually, they are overcome. This time the law is not an ass, but an asset.