Worldwide cab firm Uber yesterday vowed to fight on in Germany after a court issued a temporary injunction against the app-based service, saying its drivers lacked the necessary commercial licences to pick up passengers.
The ruling by Frankfurt regional court last week came after a challenge brought by the German taxi industry for non-compliance with German passenger transport laws.
The judgment said that Uber’s fare structure contravened passenger transport law, as the remuneration was not set in advance but was based on an estimate provided at the start of the journey.
Dieter Schlenker, chairman of Taxi Deutschland, a co-operative founded by taxi companies to provide services to the industry, said: “The Passenger Transport Act regulates the protection of drivers and consumers. That can’t easily be overturned no matter how neo-liberal the company.”
But San Francisco-based Uber – recently valued at $18.2bn (£11.1bn) – hit back. It said: “Germany is one of the fastest growing markets for Uber in Europe. We will continue to operate in Germany and will appeal against the recent lawsuit.
“You cannot put the brakes on progress. Uber will continue its operations and will offer [its] ride-sharing services via its app throughout Germany.”
The court’s decision raises the stakes for Uber. It has had to fend off legal challenge in Berlin and Hamburg on issues ranging from licensing to whether its drivers are fully insured to carry passengers.