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German court slaps down Uber's ride-sharing app

Uberpop torpedoed for second time by licensed taxi opponents

A German court has slapped Uber with a nationwide ban on its ride-sharing app Uberpop – again.

The ruling means the app is no longer allowed, as it enables users to be ferried around by drivers who do not hold the requisite professional licences – a requirement under German law.

The company's other services are still permitted.

The ban follows a temporary injunction against the firm in September, in a case brought by German taxi operator Taxi Deutschland.

Last year, the court said drivers breaking the ban could face fines of up to €250,000 per trip.

Taxi Deutschland said it welcomes the latest decision, claiming Uber's business model breaches the country's Passenger Transportation Act.

France has also made noises that it intends to clamp down on the use of the app.

A spokesman from Uber said: “We regret today’s interim ruling. We respect the German legal system. We will now wait to see the court’s reasoning and review it thoroughly."

Uber has already said it intends to appeal the decision.

"In our opinion ... 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 [the] decision."

He added the company will "continue the dialogue we initiated with German policymakers and regulators with the goal of partnering with them to develop a forward-looking framework for passenger transportation".

He said the company was currently developing such an agreement in Belgium "that incorporates new mobility solutions into the transportation ecosystem”. ®

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