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Uber banned from operating nationwide in Germany

The state court in Frankfurt gave the company a temporary injunction, barring it from operating in the country


Sarah Gray
September 2, 2014 6:27PM (UTC)

The state court in Frankfurt, Germany, banned Uber from operating in the country. Last week the court levied a temporary injunction on the company, which, according to Mashable, "bars Uber from legally operating in Germany pending a full hearing." Uber, the German court ruled, does not have the necessary transportation permits to operate in the country.

The lawsuit against the car-sharing company was brought by the German cab association, Taxi Deutschland, which also has an app for ordering cars. The issue, according toTaxi Deutschland, is that Uber manages to weasel its way out of both insurance and safety regulations, which cab companies are subject to.

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"The Passenger Transport Act regulates the protection of drivers and consumers," Dieter Schlenker, chairman of Taxi Deutschland, said in a statement to Financial Times. "That can’t easily be overturned no matter how neoliberal the company."

"Uber operates with billions in cash from Goldman Sachs and Google, wraps itself in a Startup-Look and sells itself as a New Economy saviour," Schlenker continued.

This ruling is just the latest tussle between Uber and the German government. It had previously been barred from Berlin and Hamburg, both of which were reversed.

This current injunction is temporary and only holds until the start of the appeals process. Uber has no plans to quit operating in Germany, and according to TechCrunch, "it intends to both appeal the injunction and to continue operating in Germany ahead of its appeal."

If the company does keep operating, it could face fines of around €250,000 ($328,000), and according to TechCrunch, potential jail time.

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The company gave TechCrunch this statement:

“Germany is one of the fastest growing markets for Uber in Europe. We will continue to operate in Germany and will appeal the recent lawsuit filed by Taxi Deutschland in Frankfurt. We believe innovation and competition is good for everyone, riders and drivers, everyone wins. You cannot put the brakes on progress. Uber will continue its operations and will offer Uberpop ridesharing services via its app throughout Germany.​”

Uber has also recently made headlines after the company's ruthless sabotage tactics were reported last week by the Verge. According to reports, Uber employed contractors with credit cards and burner phones to try to recruit drivers from its competitor Lyft.

The company, valued at around $17 billion, has touted its war chest, stated it would sling mud to gain ground, and made several key political hires to campaign for Uber.


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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