By Ben Knight
The ruling that the app violates the country’s Passenger Transportation Act applies nationwide, according to legal experts. The temporary ban remains in place until a full hearing takes place, and Uber could face a €250,000 (£198,000) fine per ride.
But Uber vowed to keep the app online regardless. “You cannot put the brakes on progress,” the company said. “Uber will continue its operations and will offer Uberpop ride-sharing services via its app throughout Germany.” It promised to appeal against the decision and would, if necessary, “exhaust all the legal possibilities”.
The case against Uber was brought by the Taxi Deutschland Servicegesellschaft company, which offers a rival app that links users to registered taxi drivers. The company argued that Uber was not operating a legitimate service because its drivers did not have the correct permits, were not properly insured, and were not subject to checks. German law allows drivers without a commercial licence to pick up passengers only if they charge no more than the operating cost of the trip.