A German taxi organization won a ruling that may end the use of Uber Technologies Inc.’s ride-hailing smartphone application in the country.
A Frankfurt court said in an emergency ruling that the Uber drivers do not have the necessary permits to carry passengers under German law, citing evidence from Taxi Deutschland Service Gessellschaft fuer Taxizentralen eG. This case is only one of at least four other legal actions taken against the company in Germany.
Governments and regulators in cities across the globe are restricting Uber’s business claiming it poses safety risks and that it competes unfairly with licensed taxi services. Protests from cab drivers whose permits can cost $262,500 a piece have been staged in European cities like London, Madrid, Paris and Berlin.
Uber, which is facing suits and legal threats in the U.S., South Korea, India, the Netherlands and the U.K., stated that the company will appeal and continue to function in Germany, which is one of its fastest growing markets.
In response to the situation, the company stated: “We believe innovation and competition is good for everyone, riders and drivers. You cannot put the brakes on progress.”
Investors like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Google Ventures are also pouring money into the apps that let users order taxis and cars or share rides using their smartphones. Uber, which is based in San Francisco, is active in more than 40 countries and has raised $1.2 billion in June, having a value worth of $17 billion.
By Gabriela Florea