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German court rules Uber limousine service illegal

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The Federal Court of Justice in Germany on Thursday has upheld lower-court rulings, handing down a final judgment to rule that a defunct limousine service, Uber Black, offered by Uber was illegal.

TheNewsGuru (TNG) reports the federal court passed the judgment in favour of a complaint brought by a Berlin taxi business that the so-called Uber Black service had violated German laws governing car rentals.

Responding to the judgment, Uber said it had taken Uber Black out of service in 2014, adding that the services it now operates in four German cities complied with the law.

“This ruling has no impact on our current services in Germany as we changed our operating model more than four years ago.

“We will continue to engage with local stakeholders as we develop services that address Germany’s growing transportation needs and shape the future of urban mobility in a responsible way,” the company said in a statement.

Two lower courts had banned the Uber Black service based on the complaint brought by a Berlin taxi operator, Richard Leipold.

He had argued that its operations should be covered by laws covering car rentals. These require a car to return to its base after each trip and for trips to be awarded by a dispatcher. Taxis, by contrast, can accept orders directly.

Establishing an important principle, the federal court found that Uber was subject to German transportation laws, dismissing arguments that European Union rules governing the provision of services should apply.

 

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