Germany bans taxi app Uber

US taxi app Uber has fallen foul of Germany red-tape laws.

"Despite having the most German-sounding name possible," said Kevin Roose on Nymag.com, Uber has been banned in Germany.

Taxi Deutschland, the industry association, took Uber to court for non-compliance with German transport law. It says Uber's drivers operate without the necessary permits.

Uber plans to keep operating while it appeals, even though it faces fines of up to €250,000 per trip.

The service allows customers to order and pay for a car with a private driver via a smartphone app. Uber has expanded to 3,200 cities since its inception in 2009, and has been banned in several of them.

What the commentators said

In Germany's case, "there is too much legal cover for those protecting vested interests", said the FT. Taxi apps aren't the only internet services that promote consumer's interests and have the potential to give the economy a big boost.

Germany needs to be "more open to this sort of innovation if it is to shake up its sleepy services sector", which in turn is crucial to bolstering long-term growth. There is just too much red tape.

The regulation of professional servicesis stricter in Germany than in all butfive of the 27 states monitored by the OECD think tank. According to the World Bank, Germany ranks 11th outof 189 economies for the ease ofstarting a business worse than Iran, Russia and Senegal.

The likely upshot, concluded Kevin Roose, is that Uber will manage to rally customers to its side and the taxi lobby "will be made to look corrupt and protectionist".

The courts will find a "halfway measure" that allows Uber drivers to operate if they get the proper licences. But with the German public less instinctively sympathetic to "brashupstarts" than Americans, "the battle may be more protracted".

Recommended

Stockmarkets shrug off turbulence
Stockmarkets

Stockmarkets shrug off turbulence

Stockmarkets have hit their first bout of turbulence of the year, but most are clinging onto January’s gains.
4 Feb 2021
The FTSE 100 has clawed back above 7,000 – how much higher can it go?
UK stockmarkets

The FTSE 100 has clawed back above 7,000 – how much higher can it go?

The FTSE 100 index has risen to over 7,000 for the first time in over a year – it now sits just above where it was in 1999. But its era of neglect cou…
19 Apr 2021
The MoneyWeek Podcast: how to not lose money to inflation and financial repression
Investment strategy

The MoneyWeek Podcast: how to not lose money to inflation and financial repression

Merryn talks to Peter Spiller of the Capital Gearing Trust about how he navigated the last extraordinary year; what he's buying now; and how he plans …
16 Apr 2021
UK mid-cap stocks look forward to life after lockdown
UK stockmarkets

UK mid-cap stocks look forward to life after lockdown

The FTSE 250 hit an all-time high at the end of last week, as investors look to a post-lockdown recovery.
16 Apr 2021

Most Popular

“Joke” cryptocurrency dogecoin goes to the moon. What’s going on?
Bitcoin

“Joke” cryptocurrency dogecoin goes to the moon. What’s going on?

Dogecoin – a cryptocurrency created as a joke – has risen by more than 9,000% this year alone. Saloni Sardana looks at how something that began as an …
19 Apr 2021
Lab-grown meat: how “moo’s law” will drive innovation
Soft commodities

Lab-grown meat: how “moo’s law” will drive innovation

Jim Mellon and Anthony Chow, co-founders of Aim-listed Agronomics, explain why they believe that “cellular agriculture” will benefit from massive long…
16 Apr 2021
The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it
Bitcoin

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it

The cryptocurrency’s price has soared far beyond its fundamentals, says Matthew Partridge. Here, he looks at how to short bitcoin.
12 Apr 2021