GERMAN TAXI DRIVERS RALLY: German taxi drivers protested against Uber in 2014. In March 2015, Frankfurt authorities banned the lift-sharing service. Image: AP / Joerg Carstensen
BERLIN, Germany - A German court has added to ride-share company Uber’s troubles in Europe and elsewhere by issuing a nationwide ban on its service.
Frankfurt state court spokesman Arne Hasse said the ruling banning UberPop from offering rides with drivers who don't have a taxi permit, was issued on Wednesday (March 18). An appeal against the decision is possible.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit against Uber by a German taxi association. It was heard in Frankfurt because that city is one of several in which Uber launched operations.
The court issued an injunction in the middle of 2014 banning Uber from operating but lifted it a few weeks later because, though it considered Uber's practices illegal, an emergency injunction wasn't justified.
Uber also has hit trouble in the Netherlands, Spain and France, which has effectively banned its service.
Uber said it regretted the latest ruling as "a defeat for all those who want more choice in their personal mobility”.
It added that it was "working on an alternative ride-share offer that we are adapting specifically to the formalities in Germany”.
There was no further explanation.
Taxi associations have accused Uber of allowing its drivers to skirt safety and insurance regulations by which conventional cabs must a bike. Similar problems have arisen in South African cities, among them Cape Town.