Hire-a-driver app Uber continues to face an uphill battle as tries to roll out in a number of EU nations. On Tuesday, September 2nd, Uber management announced it will continue to operate in Germany despite a temporary injunction prohibiting the use of the service. A Frankfurt regional court in issued an emergency ruling saying that Uber, which connects self-employed drivers with passengers online through its app, did not have the required permits to operate its service in the country.
Details on the decision
In its ruling against Uber, the German court cited evidence provided by Taxi Deutschland, an association of taxi dispatchers, that demonstrated it was violating German law.
German commercial driver laws only allow drivers to pick up passengers without a commercial license if the driver charges no more than the operating cost of the trip. However, given that Uber stands to make a profit off of each charge, the court issued an injunction against the firm.
This nationwide ban on Uber in Germany comes on the heels of regional decisions against the driving service by authorities in Berlin and Hamburg, although neither decision has been enforced to date and both decisions can be challenged.
Following the Frankfurt court ruling, Taxi Deutschland announced that it will monitor Uber, and will request the court to impose a fine of as much as €250,000 every time an Uber driver provides a driving service without the proper license.
Statement from Uber spokesperson
Following the decision, a spokesman for Uber said: “We believe innovation and competition is good for everyone, riders and drivers. You cannot put the brakes on progress.”
In a surprising move, he also continued to say that Uber would continue to serve its German customers despite the court’s ruling.
Statement from Taxi Deutschland
Anja Floetenmeyer, a spokeswoman for Taxi Deutschland, commented after the decision: “We’re not afraid of our adversary because the law is on our side. Goldman Sachs and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) can pour as much money in as they want. Even Uber has to abide by the law.”