German court bans ride-sharing service Uber across the countryBy Himanshu Arora
In a new setback for Uber, a German court last week imposed a preliminary injunction on the ride-sharing service barring it from operating in the country. The Frankfurt Regional Court said that the taxi service was operating illegally because its drivers do not carry the appropriate permits and insurance.
It's worth noting that in Germany, drivers without a commercial license are allowed to pick up passengers only if they charge no more than the operating cost of the trip.
Quite clearly, that's not the case with Uber, which stands to take a cut of any charges. The court issued an injunction, which applies pending a full court case brought against Uber by Taxi Deutschland, a Frankfurt-based consortium of taxi companies operating in major cities across Germany.
On the other hand, Uber has decided not to suspend the service. "We will continue to operate in Germany and will appeal the recent lawsuit filed by Taxi Deutschland in Frankfurt", a company spokesperson said.
The news comes a couple of weeks after Berlin authorities barred Uber from operating in the capital citing passenger safety. The Berlin State Department of Civil and Regulatory Affairs had said it didn't approve the service's exposure to passengers who travel uninsured driven by "non-approved drivers in unlicensed vehicles".
Founded in 2009 and backed by Google and the bank Goldman Sachs, among others, the San Francisco-based company allows passengers to summon cars using an app on their smartphones. The company was valued at $18.2 billion after its latest funding round in June.
Although the company has been aggressively expanding its services worldwide, it has also been the subject of protests by taxi drivers in many European cities, including Paris, London, Berlin, and more. The company has also been involved in controversies related to its business practices.