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

Warsaw and Stockholm: the unexpected new threats to the City of London
UK stockmarkets

Warsaw and Stockholm: the unexpected new threats to the City of London

London has seen off challenges from Frankfurt and Paris, but two other booming financial centres are a bigger threat, says Matthew Lynn.
19 Sep 2021
The charts that matter: more pain for goldbugs
Economy

The charts that matter: more pain for goldbugs

Gold investors saw more disappointment this week as the yellow metal took a tumble. Here’s what’s happened to the charts that matter most to the globa…
18 Sep 2021
Kieran Heinemann: the history of shareholder capitalism
Investment strategy

Kieran Heinemann: the history of shareholder capitalism

Merryn talks to Kieran Heinemann, author of Playing the Market: Retail Investment and Speculation in Twentieth-Century Britain, about the history of t…
17 Sep 2021
Why it pays to face up to your investment mistakes
Investment strategy

Why it pays to face up to your investment mistakes

Buying stocks can be a complicated business. But selling stocks can be tricky, too – even if you sell for the right reasons. Max King explains how to …
17 Sep 2021

Most Popular

The times may be changing, but don’t change how you invest
Small cap stocks

The times may be changing, but don’t change how you invest

We are living in strange times. But the basics of investing remain the same: buy fairly-priced stocks that can provide an income. And there are few be…
13 Sep 2021
Two shipping funds to buy for steady income
Investment trusts

Two shipping funds to buy for steady income

Returns from owning ships are volatile, but these two investment trusts are trying to make the sector less risky.
7 Sep 2021
Should investors be worried about stagflation?
US Economy

Should investors be worried about stagflation?

The latest US employment data has raised the ugly spectre of “stagflation” – weak growth and high inflation. John Stepek looks at what’s going on and …
6 Sep 2021