Uber's appeal against a decision by Transport for London (TfL) to strip the company of its taxi licence could take years to conclude, the Mayor of London has warned.
Speaking on Thursday, Sadiq Khan predicted that it'll likely take years for the taxi app's appeal process to be completed, but added that it may never get its licence back.
TfL, which is the local government organisation responsible for managing London's transport system, decided to ban the company from operating in the city in September.
It came as a surprise to Uber, as well as much of the general public, when it described the company as "unfit" and decided it wasn't suitable to run a taxi service in London.
Of course, the Silicon Valley upstart wasn't happy with the decision and responded by filing an appeal.
Reuters reports that, during a recent monthly Q&A session, Khan said: "My understanding is that it could go on for a number of years."
Over the years, Uber has faced criticism over the payment of its drivers, who are hired as freelancers rather than employed, and cases of sexual assault, which many people believe resulted in TfL's decision.
Khan praised the ruling. In a statement at the time, he said: "I fully support TfL's decision. It would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety and security."
The general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association Steve McNamara added: "This immoral company has no place on London's streets."
The decision faced backlash, however. Uber argued that the ruling would risk the livelihood of its drivers. Tom Elvidge, the firm's general manager in London, told the BBC its 40,000 drivers are at the front and centre of the protest.
"To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts," he said.
"Europeans have a profound belief that companies play an important role in the European Social System: they are by law responsible for their people.
"If a company is reliant on not paying taxes or giving its workers the rights they have come to expect in a modern and civilised society in order to make a profit, then it probably isn't a great business."
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