The ride-sharing app Uber has been sued by Taxi Deutschland and its services are now banned in Germany. The company faces a large fine per ride, as the temporary ban remains until a full hearing takes place. However, Uber vows to keep the app active in the country regardless, according to the company. "Uber will continue its operations and will offer Uberpop ride-sharing services via its app throughout Germany. You cannot put the brakes on progress.”
The claims against Uber indicate that the company violates the country's Passenger Transportation Act, according to legal experts. Taxi Deutschland argues that Uber's service is illegitimate due to numerous drivers lacking proper insurances and permits. The law in Germany allows drivers without a commercial license to pick up passengers as long as they charge no more than the operating cost of the trip.
According to TDS spokeswoman Anja Floetenmeyer commented that her company would now formally ask the court to enforce the relevant fines after hearing that Uber decided to ignore the ban. "If you get into a car, you are legally in the hands of the driver with your life and your personal health and safety. And the driver has to play by the German rules."
This is not the first incident in Germany where Uber has fought off legal challenges. Authorities in Berlin and Hamburg have been charging the company for months due to lack of permits, insurance, and licenses. In both cases, the court suspended the bans, pending procedural decisions and further hearings.
Uber has targeted Germany as one of its most fertile markets and implements an aggressive business strategy in the country. As the service grows, the competing taxi companies in other countries may take action. This may not be the last instance of a standoff between Uber and a country's transportation company.
Edited by Maurice Nagle