Frankfurt court Bans Uber in Germany

Uber, a car pick-up service has been banned across Germany after a court in Frankfurt ruled that the firm lacked the necessary legal credentials to operate under German law.

The legal battle began last week when the firm was told that its “low-cost” UberPop service could no longer take passengers and will face a fine if it continued operation but Fabien Nestmann, spokesperson for Uber said it had decided not to suspend the service, adding that the ban cannot be enforced while an appeal process was ongoing.

“Germany is one of the fastest growing markets for Uber in Europe,” he said adding that the company will continue to operate there and will appeal the recent lawsuit filed by Taxi Deutschland in Frankfurt.

UberPop was launched earlier this year and it involves drivers who are not on the payroll of the company over the age of 21 using their own cars to transport passengers.

Anja Floetenmeyer, spokeswoman of Taxi Deutschland a rival firm, termed Uber as a “form of locust share-economy” indulging in “anarchy capitalism” that could leave passengers exposed in the case of an accident.

“In Germany there’s insurance that applies to private drivers, Uber doesn’t care because security costs money. We don’t believe it has the interests of German drivers and citizens at heart,” Floetenmeyer said.

But Uber’s spokesman in Germany, Nestmann, has previously blogged that safety is one of his firm’s key concerns, stating “all the rides and thus all travelers are insured by Uber.”

The San Francisco-based firm allows passengers to summon cars using an app on their smartphones and calculates the fare en route. It is often significantly cheaper than rival taxi companies. The company, which is backed, by Google and Goldman Sachs, has been the subject of protests by taxi drivers in many European cities, including Berlin, Paris and London.

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