Berlin is the latest city to put a grinding halt to Uber. The car-sharing service’s insurance might not cover passengers in Berlin, according to the State Department of Civil and Regulatory Affairs. Authorities said that Uber could get hit with a $33,400 fine if they ignore the ban. Uber expanded to Berlin in February 2013 and promised to fight the ban.
In a blog post, Uber Germany General Manager Fabian Nestmann said, “We intend to formally challenge this decision and fully expect that Berlin will follow the Hamburg authorities’ lead and overturn the prohibition order. The decision from the Berlin authorities is not progressive and it’s seeking to limit consumer choice for all the wrong reasons. As a new entrant we’re bringing much-needed competition to a market that hasn’t changed in years.”
This isn’t the first major problem that Uber has faced outside of U.S. borders. In Spain, laws that prohibit any form of for-profit transportation, like Uber, will likely be passed. Protests in Paris by taxi drivers have turned violent. Kat Borlongan, Five-by-Five co-founder, was a passenger in an Uber car when taxi drivers on strike punctured a tire and broke the window. Both the driver and Borlongan left safely.
Taxi drivers in London claim that the Uber app is essentially another form of a meter, since it measures time and distance to calculate the price. Only taxis, by law, are allowed to use a meter. Taxi cab drivers hope those facts are enough to ban them, but that’s unlikely. Uber has run into problems with international laws and adjusted their practices accordingly, so even if they’re found in the wrong, they’ll change company practices and keep the wheels rolling.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org