A regional court in Frankfurt ruled on Thursday Uber may not process orders for car-hire companies through its app.
The court ruled that Uber’s business model which brokers trips with private hire cars using the company's app is anti-competitive and that the car-hire companies used by Uber in Germany hadn’t been adequately controlled. Customers will still be able to order taxis through Uber’s independent contractors.
“We will assess the court’s ruling and determine next steps to ensure our services in Germany continue. Working with licensed PHV operators and their professional drivers, we are committed to being a true partner to German cities for the long term,” Tobias Froehlich, head of communications at Uber in Germany, said in a statement.
In May 2017, Germany’s highest court ruled that Uber’s Black service had violated competition laws and referred the case to the European Court of Justice. Uber was forced to stop parts of its service.
The ban will be effective immediately and the verdict may be appealed at a higher regional court in Frankfurt.
The ruling remains a setback for Uber in Europe. The London transport regulator last month denied Uber a new operating license, saying the firm had failed to adequately verify drivers’ identities and safeguard the service for passengers. The ride-hailing app’s appeal could take years. In the meantime, it will be able to continue operating.