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Judge Lifts Germany's Uber Ban

A judge has lifted the ban restricting ride-sharing company Uber from operating in Germany.
Posted at 5:05 PM, Sep 16, 2014

The temporary injunction that banned ride-sharing company Uber from operating in Germany has been overturned by a judge.

According to The Local, the judge concluded the injunction was far too extreme a measure to settle the argument — writing in his decision, "The case has turned out not to be as urgent as we first supposed." 

Late last month, The New York Times reported a court in Frankfurt banned Uber's app, which connects customers to private drivers. 

The court said Uber was unfairly competing against the German taxi association, which already uses a similar app to find customers. (Video via Uber)

Uber could have been fined as much as 250,000 euros — or about $324,000 — every time one of its drivers violated the ban, according to Bloomberg

But despite the steep price tag, Uber said it was going to defy the ban — which is the same response it gave when the company was banned in Virginia earlier this year. 

As it stands, the five-year-old startup company now boasts services in 45 countries.

But a writer for The Straits Times thinks the company shouldn't add Germany to that list, pointing out that taxi services in that country already offer many of the benefits offered by Uber, such as timeliness and nicer cars. 

The judge who lifted the ban says he still wants to look into the taxi drivers' reasons for not wanting Uber around. 

"The court still considers it to be unlawful that Uber brings trip requests to drivers who don't have permits under passenger transport law and thus incites drivers to break the law."

EurActive.com explains that in Germany, taxi drivers are required to be issued special passenger-transportation licenses and follow a strict fare structure that doesn't allow for charging more than the operating costs. Uber takes 20 percent of the fare made from each of its rides, which is illegal in Germany. 

Not surprisingly, news outlets are already reporting German taxi drivers will appeal this decision