Uber has been hit again with legal woes in Germany, receiving today a ruling that its uberPOP drivers in particular must get the same permits as taxi drivers to continue picking up riders — something that has haunted Uber across multiple countries and within several states, and that despite its best efforts otherwise have hampered its ability to operate the way it wants. This is the second time Uber has been given the banhammer in the nation, with this latest ruling reversing the ruling made in September that had overturned the original ban.
As in many other cases, the taxi industry is at the heart of Germany’s push against Uber drivers. The ruling itself was made by Judge Joachim Nickel, and it concerns only UberPOP, which is somewhat akin to UberX in the States, using private drivers who hold regular driver licenses to pick up those who need a ride using their own car. Because UberTaxi and UberBlack used properly licensed drivers, neither were affected in the nation.
The ruling against UberPOP also comes with a hefty fine — 250,000 Euros for every violation. Under the nation’s Public Transportation Act, for-pay passenger transportation must be done by those with the proper licensing. As expected, Uber has argued that it shouldn’t be forced to followed taxi regulations because of how it operates, and that it will be appealing this ruling.
Said Uber in a statement:
We respect the German legal system. We will now wait to see the court’s reasoning and review it thoroughly. In our opinion, however, the interim ruling pronounced by the Court represents a fundamental infringement of our ability under European law to establish and provide a service; this is why we have lodged a complaint against Germany with the European Commission. In this regard, we also expect to file an appeal against today’s decision.
SOURCE: The New York Times