Lyft should be experiencing some schadenfreude right about now: Uber, the practically ubiquitous ridesharing service that's established drivers in 150 cities, has been banned in Germany in a ruling by the Frankfurt Regional Court.
The court ruled the company's network of drivers didn't have the necessary commercial licenses to pick up passengers under the country's Passenger Transport Act. In an email to TechCrunch, Dr Arne Hasse of the Frankfurt court explained the details of the ruling:
The Uber App violates German unfair competition law. In Germany, commercial passanger [sic] transport is only allowed with a permission by the local authorities which the Uber drivers don't have. The injunction was brought by a taxi drivers' union which also operates a taxi app. A hearing will only take place if Uber applies for it. The injunction is immediately enforceable; Uber can apply for a suspension of the immediately enforceability."
Uber's been fighting a legal battle in Germany for some time. The company has seen challenges in Berlin and Hamburg over driver insurance, last month, won the right to continue operating in Berlin.
Even so, the company has already released a statement saying the temporary ban is simply a slap on the wrist — more a speed bump than a dead end. Despite the court's warning that the company can be fined up to 250,000 euros ($330,000), or have local employees jailed for up to six months, if it violates the temporary injunction, Uber says it will continue its operations and appeal the court decision.