A Frankfurt court has banned the Uber car sharing company from operating in Germany as it does not have the necessary legal permits to operate under the German law, according to this BBC update. The company spokesperson on the other hand said since the judgement is still under appeal, they are not suddenly going to stop the service as a ban is not enforceable while an appeal process is ongoing. The lawsuit was filed by Taxi Deutschland in Frankfurt. A temporary injunction was ordered last week. The company could face fines up to € 250,000 and its local employees can even be jailed for six months if the company violates a temporary injunction.
The reason for the ban is that the Frankfort court feels that Uber poses an unfair competition to the local taxi industry. Another problem is that most of the Uber drivers don’t have the necessary licenses and insurance covers. Another problem from the perspective of the customers is that an Uber driver can refuse a customer, but taxi drivers cannot. Uber Black on the other hand, the service that uses luxury sedans and chauffeurs, is not affected by the ruling. The car sharing service that is valued more than $ 15 billion operates in more than 100 cities in 45 countries (including India). In the past the company has faced opposition in New York as well as London. In April this year, a Brussels court threatened to impose a fine of € 10,000 on every Uber driver for every single ride they accept in the city.
According to Uber’s official statement:
You cannot put the brakes on progress. We believe innovation and competition is good for everyone — riders and drivers, everyone wins.
When I personally talked to a few people in India who have used the Uber service they were quite happy with it, considering the ill-mannered taxi drivers we have on the roads here. So far no taxi service has filed a complaint against the company in India.