A German court has issued a nationwide ban on Uber, the increasingly popular, taxi-replacing, ride-hailing app. The ban will run until later this year until the "legality" of the service can be determined, The New York Times' Bits blog reports.

Uber has announced that it would appeal the decision, which only affects the budget UberPop service, and maintain its operations in the country, even though its employees – not, interestingly, its freelance drivers – could be arrested for violating the Frankfurt court's injunction. The company's luxury minded Uber Black service, which is more akin to a chauffeured livery service rather than a cab, is not affected by the court ruling.

The court claims that some of the Uber pilots were lacking the proper permits and insurance necessary to work as a cabbie. The company is currently facing a 250,000-euro fine (about $330,000 at today's rates), a figure that's only set to increase if the company continues to violate the German ban.

The latest complaint was brought by trade body Taxi Deutschland, whose chairman, Dieter Schlenker, compared the start-up's business model to a "locust."

"Uber operates with billions of cash from Goldman Sachs and Google, wraps itself up to look like a start-up and sells itself as the saviour of the new economy," Schlenker said, according to NYT.

As for Uber? "You cannot put the brakes on progress," the company said in a statement.


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  • 17 Comments
      Big Rocket
      • 3 Months Ago

      I would normally side with Uber because of free market and all, but the way they have been screwing over rivals -- such as placing fake reservations with Lyft -- is just plain unethical.

      Eggmania
      • 3 Months Ago
      I would never use one of these ride sharing services. The way they flaunt the rules of existing marketplaces makes me wonder where else they cut corners. That's even before I read about the kidnappings and sexual assaults their drivers have been accused of.
        Jarda
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Eggmania

        Cut corners sounds like something wrong. While in reality it means serving customers.

      Andrew Pappas
      • 3 Months Ago

      The tech is great.  The flaunting of insurance regs isn't.

      Skicat
      • 3 Months Ago

      My mom used Uber to go from my house to the airport the last time she visited. We placed the Uber reservation using their app and the guy was in my driveway in 5 minutes. Turns out he's a neighbor. He drove her in his brand new Malibu and the fare was $39 for the 36-mile trip, no tip. The fare for a filthy, beat-up cab: $72 + tip. Monopolies restrict choice, drive up prices and lower the quality of service. The cab/black car companies have an airport monopoly where I live. Only a select group are allowed to serve the airport and the consumer suffers. Uber is a welcome alternative.

      Actionable Mango
      • 3 Months Ago

      "You cannot put the brakes on progress"

      I assure you that the government is perfectly capable of doing this.

      jebibudala
      • 3 Months Ago

      Germany = East Germany

      Diggity Dee
      • 3 Months Ago

      Another example of how Europe stifles competition with crazy government regulation....

        jphyundai
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Diggity Dee

        If everybody is crazy but you, then you could be wrong on that too.

          Jarda
          • 3 Months Ago
          @jphyundai

          Was that supposed to be an argument? Because I'm pretty sure this is what the more calm response would be few hundreds years ago if you questioned slavery.

      Nick
      • 3 Months Ago

      As long as Uber is dodging taxes and licensing fees they should be banned. Everywhere.

        Jarda
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Nick

        Because making you pay for nothing is moral. Because having to ask your rulers whether you are allowed to provideprovide a service makes so much sense in a post-feudal world. Are you people on drugs?

      Jarda
      • 3 Months Ago
      Absurd.If this can happen in a democratic country then we should probably start looking for something better, like actual freedom maybe...?
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