Uber’s ride-hailing business has been banned after a regional court in Frankfurt, Germany decided that the US company has no necessary license to offer passenger transport services using rental cars.
In Colombia, the company has also been ordered to cease its ride-hailing operations after a judge ruled out that the company had violated competition rules. The court order, effective immediately, applies for both Uber, Uber X, and Uber VAN.
In the German market, Uber typically relies on professional and licensed private-hire vehicle (PHV) companies whose drivers and cars are fully compliant with the law to transport passengers.
Being the principal model in which the company operates in the country, Uber’s whole business has undoubtedly been halted. The company operates in seven cities in Germany including Frankfurt, Berlin, and Munich.
The judgment is effective immediately, although it can still be appealed.
The complainant in this case – Taxi Deutschland – said it would seek immediate provisional implementation.
If that is obtained, then Uber will have to pay fines between 250 euros per ride up to as high as 250,000 euros per trip in case of repeated offences, according to Taxi Deutschland.
According to the court, Uber’s business model violates preset laws, but still, it did find the company with irregular practices.
Lack of a rental license was one of the core reasons behind the ban. On top of that, the court cited Uber’s way of advertising its service as the sole provider of the transport service.
The German law also obligates rented cars to return to their firm’s main office after dropping a passenger off. Also, the court found issues with Uber’s dispatching process where drivers only accept jobs via the app without them being previously received by their company.
This is just another scenario similar to what the company has experienced in London. Uber lost its operational license to carry paying passengers in London last month over safety issues. Last week, Uber filed an appeal against London’s transport regulator to restore its operational license.
In the German market, Uber says they are considering their options before deciding what to do next.
“We will assess the court’s ruling and determine next steps to ensure our services in Germany continue”, an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.
The company has already rejected the ruling in Colombia. They have already appealed it, as a result.
“This decision reflects an act of censorship and infringes on the Inter American Convention on Human Rights, which has already condemned attempts to block Uber for violating the neutrality of the web, liberty of expression and freedom of internet,” Uber said in a statement to Reuters.