Uber Technologies, the ride-sharing company that has become globally famous due to numerous taxicab protests, has registered an important victory in Hamburg, Germany. There, a court overturned the municipality’s decision to ban its service.
The ride-hailing application has won millions of dollars in investments, as it heralds a new type of service aided by the latest technology. On the other hand the company is challenged by cabbies around the world – as they protest the fact that Uber drivers don’t need special licenses, which in many European cities cost as much as 200,000 euros ($263,620) a piece.
“Because the ban was already illegal for formal reasons, the judges didn’t even look at the question of whether the service Uber is offering is in line with German law,” said court spokesman Andreas Lambiris.
Hamburg’s municipality – in line with other regulators – tried to restrict Uber’s business, claiming it poses safety risks and provides unfair competition to taxi services. Unfortunately for the authorities, the administrative court ruled that the ban was issued by the wrong city agency. Besides Hamburg, Berlin has also enforced a ban against Uber, while Munich and Dusseldorf are also mulling a restriction. The city officials say the service is illegal because the drivers that charge for rides via Uber’s smartphone app actually need to be licensed cabbies – and also because they’re not completely insured.