Court halts ridesharing service Uber in Germany

Court halts ridesharing service Uber in Germany
FILE - In this June 11, 2014 file photo taxi drivers gather after a protest drive against the competition from Internet and mobile applications designed for calling cabs in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/dpa, Joerg Carstensen, File)
BERLIN (AP) - A court has barred ridesharing service Uber from operating in Germany, the latest shot in the popular app's fight with taxi drivers worldwide.

Frankfurt state court spokesman Arne Hasse said Tuesday the decision that Uber can't offer its services without a specific permit under German transport laws applies nationwide.

The injunction applies pending a full hearing of a suit brought against Uber by Taxi Deutschland, a German cab association that also offers its own taxi-ordering app. The suit is being heard in Frankfurt because it is one of the several German cities in which Uber operates.

San Francisco-based Uber said in a statement it would use "all legal means" to fight the case.

"It's never a good idea to limit people's choices," Uber said. "We believe that innovation and competition is good for everyone - it profits both drivers and passengers."

The ruling comes after Berlin authorities last month barred Uber from operating in the capital because of safety concerns.

Taxi Deutschland's arguments were in line with those of established cab companies that claim Uber's app-based services, which offer limousines and pickups by private drivers, dodge rules that ordinary taxi firms have to abide by.

Taxi Deutschland said Uber allows drivers to skirt safety and insurance regulations that apply to conventional cabs, and for employers to avoid sector benefit and wage agreements and taxes.

"The state, society and workers all lose," the company said in a statement.