Germany Ousts Uber Over License Issue


A German court on Thursday (Dec. 19) banished Uber from running its ride-hailing service in Germany because the company doesn’t have the right licensing, Reuters reported.

Uber is in seven German cities — including Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich — and taps car rental agencies and their licensed drivers to run its ride-hailing service. The German court said Uber doesn’t have the correct license to offer ride services with rental cars. 

In 2015, the court ruled that Uber could not operate the way it typically does — by matching drivers and their cars with people who need rides. 

“From a passenger’s point of view, Uber provides the service itself and is, therefore, an entrepreneur,” the judge said. He added that Uber will have to comply with passenger transport laws.

The court also said Uber didn’t comply with a rule that the hired cars and drivers would have to return to the car rental agency after each ride. Uber also advertised rides to customers “in a way that led them to view it as the provider of the transport service,” hired specific drivers and set pricing.

Last month London refused to renew Uber’s license to carry passengers citing safety issues. 

Uber is appealing the London ruling. Germany’s decision can also be appealed. “We will assess the court’s ruling and determine next steps to ensure our services in Germany continue,” an Uber spokesperson told Reuters.

A source told the news outlet that Uber is going to change how it does business in Germany and is considering legal action. 

The plaintiff, Taxi Deutschland, is demanding immediate enforcement. If Uber doesn’t comply, it will be hit with fines starting at €250 per ride. For repeated offenses, fines could escalate to €250,000 per ride.

Uber also lost its London license over safety concerns in September of 2017. Uber grew fast in London despite butting heads with the city’s iconic black cabs. Uber says it has 3.5 million regular users and 45,000 licensed London drivers.