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A MAGISTRATE who will decide the fate of Uber in a landmark court case says the "killer point" is if Victoria's taxi regulator has the power to lay criminal charges.

Former the band manager of Split Enz and Men at Work Nathan Brenner is the test case the Taxi Service Commssion brought to the court after it nabbed him in an undercover sting using the popular ride-sharing app.

But defence barrister Peter Haag yesterday made a "no case to answer" submission in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court because no money ever exchanged hands and therefore there was no commercial gain made.

The court has previously been told Brenner drove two taxi cops to the Como Hotel but the $9 charge had been redacted from the debit card.

Magistrate Julian Ayres said the "killer point" in the long-running case was the question of the TSC's power to lay charges.


"If (the taxi compliance officer) is not authorised to lay charges ... it's the end of it, game over," he said.


The test case revolves around trips to The Como Hotel.

Uber, a mobile phone app passengers use to book private cars for rides, is illegal in Victoria and Uber refuses to buy $40,0000 hire car licences for its drivers' vehicles.

The landmark Melbourne court case will have major ramifications for the Government, taxi industry and the legal status of Uber.

Mr Haag told the court that based on the evidence, it was "impossible" to determine if there was an arrangement the Mr Brenner was hired or rewarded for his services.

The court has previously been told Mr Brenner was booked via the Uber app, picked up two taxi cops from the Hilton Hotel and then drove to the Como Hotel in South Yarra.

Mr Brenner, of Caulfield North, is one of 15 drivers who were charged with operating a commercial passenger vehicle without a licence and in undercover operations across Melbourne CBD, Southbank and Geelong last year.


Uber's global ambitions could depend on what happens in Melbourne.

The TSC was originally fining drivers but started issuing court summons after Uber paid all the drivers' fines.

A ruling in the case is expected to be made on September 11.
 
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