German court imposes national ban on some Uber services

A German regional court on Wednesday issued a nationwide ban on online taxi service Uber, barring it from operating commercial services and levelling stiff fines for any violations of the country’s local transport laws.

Each violation of the order against Uber and its uberPOP online service was subject to a 250,000 euro ($264,825) fine, a three-judge panel of the Frankfurt regional court ruled.

An Uber spokesman said the company expected to appeal the court’s decision.

„We regret today’s decision by the Frankfurt regional court to prevent Uber from contributing to better and cheaper ‎individual mobility,“ Uber Germany General Manager Fabien Nestmann said outside the courtroom.

Uber also said it will continue to operate services using professional limousine drivers and licensed taxi cab drivers.

„We will not give up on the German market: our UberBLACK and uberTAXI services remain unaffected by today’s judgement,“ an emailed statement from the company said.

It also said it was working on a new alternative ridesharing service designed to comply with the court’s interpretations of existing German laws.

The case, brought by German taxi operator group Taxi Deutschland, is one of more than a dozen lawsuits which have been filed in countries across Europe in recent months against the San Francisco-based company.

Dieter Schlenker, chairman of the Taxi Deutschland cooperative, hailed the decision as a move that would protect professional taxi drivers from competition by unlicensed casual workers employed by Uber.

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