Swiss say Uber Eats must register as postal service provider

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss authorities say food delivery service Uber Eats counts as a postal service provider — and needs to be regulated as such.

Switzerland’s postal supervisory authority, PostCom, announced Thursday that the U.S.-based company’s Swiss affiliate needs to register as a postal service provider by the end of January, though it can contest the decision.

Following a nearly year-long assessment, PostCom found that at least part of Uber Eats’ business falls under postal legislation. Food packages in essence meet the criteria for postal service, and “the nature of the contents isn’t relevant when it comes to the properties of a package,” PostCom said in a statement.

Uber Portier B.V., the subsidiary active in Switzerland, has until Jan. 30 to register with PostCom and by doing so will become subject to postal regulations. That could have an impact on work hours, salaries and other “usual work conditions in the sector,” PostCom said.

Uber Eats said in a statement that it had “only just received the argumentation from PostCom and will now analyze it, in order to evaluate the next steps.”

Previously, Uber Switzerland challenged the obligation to subject itself to Swiss postal law, arguing that it was not in contractual relationship with restaurants for which the deliveries were made, PostCom said.

The move comes in a boom year for the food delivery service: Uber said last month its Eats business generated $1.45 billion in revenue in the third quarter, up 125% from a year ago as restaurants relied on the service and the trend grew of people ordering in instead of dining out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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