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Uber welcomes end of German ban

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 02:03

Uber's march through Europe could be back on after a Frankfurt judge set aside a temporary injunction against the online transportation service in Germany.

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It stormed to the front of the line and revolutionised how to hail a cab. But Uber's smartphone taxi service has encountered a number of traffic jams along the way. The latest has just been cleared - a judge overturning a nation-wide ban on its German car-sharing app service. The temporary injunction obtained by official taxi drivers had prevented Uber using its mobile phone services to connect passengers with volunteer drivers. General Manager for Western Europe, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UBER GENERAL MANAGER FOR WESTERN EUROPE, PIERRE-DIMITRI GORE-COTY, SAYING: "Germany is a big market for us. We are up and running in 5 cities across the country and we continue to open in new cities in Germany. I'd also say it's one of the fastest growing markets right now in Europe. We've multiplied by 5 times the number of users from January to where we stand today so it is a big market." There could still be grounds for an injunction in Germany. The court has simply decided there's no need for an immediate one. But the case underscores Germany's unease over the impact of digital technology on established businesses. Four-year-old Uber was recently valued at around $18 billion and is now in 150 cities around the world. It's faced almost constant regulatory scrutiny. Other injunctions have been brought in Hamburg and Berlin and competition issues and questions over licensing and insurance have also been raised. But so far, Uber has only pulled out of one city - Vancouver, and it doesn't seem phased by the controversy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UBER GENERAL MANAGER FOR WESTERN EUROPE, PIERRE-DIMITRI GORE-COTY, SAYING: "Uber is shaking up an industry that has never really faced any form of competition so I'm not too surprised to see those sort of tensions. How we overcome them is actually doing what we do every day ie bringing safer, more efficient, more reliable options for people to move around." But in June taxi drivers caused chaos across Europe protesting against the service. And operators in Frankfurt aren't giving up - they're appealing this latest decision.

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Uber welcomes end of German ban

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 02:03