Germany Bans Uber’s Unlicensed Taxi Services

By Eric Auchard and Christoph Steitz : Reuters – excerpt FRANKFURT, March 18 (Reuters) – A German court on Wednesday banned Uber from running services using unlicensed cab drivers and set stiff fines for any violations of local transport laws by the pioneering online taxi firm. Uber, worth an estimated $40 billion making it the world’s most valuable venture-backed start-up, has set out to revolutionize local transport services worldwide, from taxis to carpools to fast-food delivery. Born out of the frustration of two Silicon Valley entreprenuers trying to catch a cab in Paris, Uber’s popular mobile phone taxi-hailing services have mushroomed since being launched in 2010 and are offered in nearly 270 cities worldwide. But Uber also has become a magnet for criticism of its business style of moving first and asking permission later. It has faced complaints around the world over how it pays drivers, charges passengers and ensures their safety. The latest case, brought in the Frankfurt regional court by German taxi operator group Taxi Deutschland against UberPOP, is one of more than a dozen lawsuits filed in countries across Europe in recent months against the San Francisco-based company… (more)

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