German court rules against Daimler's taxi-hailing app

A emergency exit sign is pictured above a logo of German car manufacturer Daimler AG, before the annual news conference in Stuttgart February 18, 2010. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A Frankfurt court on Tuesday ruled that discounts offered by taxi-hailing app Mytaxi are illegal, saying they were an “unfair commercial practice”.

Mytaxi, owned by German carmaker Daimler, offered cab rides for half the regular price in several German cities if customers paid electronically instead of in cash.

The case was brought by German taxi operator group Taxi Deutschland, which offers a competing app and a central phone number for ordering cabs.

Taxi Deutschland said in a statement it welcomed the ruling.

Daimler said it would appeal the ruling, saying it was convinced its actions were legal.

German regulators have been tough on so-called ride-hailing apps. Uber Technologies last year said it was retreating from Hamburg, Frankfurt and Duesseldorf, focusing on Berlin and Munich in Germany, as it grapples with a ban on using unlicensed cab drivers.

Reporting by Harro ten Wolde and Jan Schwartz; Editing by Mark Potter