Germany — Before the year ends, Uber encounters another major setback in Europe. A court in Germany ruled that the company doesn’t have the necessary license to operate a business that employs for-hire drivers.
According to reports, Uber’s operating system is different in Germany and other European nations that it does in America. A 2017 decision from EU’s highest court prompted Uber to partner exclusively with private hire vehicle (PHV) companies and their licensed drivers.
However, the recent decision effectively bans Uber from offering rides to people in Germany.
Moreover, the court also found several issues with Uber’s dispatching process. This includes the fact that drivers could accept a job within its app without their official employer first receiving it.
“From a passenger’s point of view, Uber provides the service itself and is, therefore, an entrepreneur,” the court said. They added that Uber must comply with the country’s passenger transport laws.
Meanwhile, the German taxi association that initiated the legal challenge against Uber said it plans to seek immediate provisional enforcement of the ban. With that said, Uber could pay fines as high as €250,000 per ride. That is if it doesn’t comply with the court’s decision. The company can appeal the ruling, anyway.
“We will assess the court’s ruling and determine next steps to ensure our services in Germany continue,” an Uber spokesperson said. “Working with licensed PHV operators and their professional drivers. We are committed to being a true partner to German cities for the long term.”