By using private hire vehicles (‘Mietwagen’) as a taxi, Uber is permanently and extensively violating passenger transport legislation in Germany and continues to further develop this illegal business model. That is why the largest taxi partnership in Germany – Taxi Deutschland eG – in which a large number of taxi companies are cooperating, is taking the American app to court.
“Unlike Uber representatives’ assurances that they want to abide by the law, German laws are intentionally ignored,” says Taxi Deutschland. “As soon as a violation of the law is found, Uber disclaims any responsibility and refers to the subcontractors – PHV operators and their drivers. Various lawsuits are currently pending, like in Cologne and Düsseldorf. Wherever Uber enters the market, the pattern is the same and it is virtually impossible that those activities are legal.”
Drivers who work for Uber as subcontractors are often registered in the app for up to 70 hours a week. This is a clear violation of labour legislation and a significant risk to passenger safety.
In Austria, the Supreme Court – after repeated complaints from the largest taxi company in Vienna, Taxi 40100 – has prohibited Uber from operating without actual business location in the country and without a proper license. There, too, the company is guilty of the illegal use of PHV. A week ago Uber briefly withdrew from the Austrian market and suspended all services in Vienna (UberX, Green, Black and Van), and also ended the pilot phases in Graz, Linz and Salzburg. But after less than a week, Uber is back and again serves the market in a completely illegal way. An amount in fines of € 1.3 million is also still outstanding for earlier violations of the law. Uber has repeatedly refused to pay this sum.
Again Taxi Deutschland has filed a lawsuit before the Frankfurt court. After the successful lawsuit that it already waged in 2015 against untrained private drivers (UberPop) as a business model (and won), Taxi Deutschland expects the court to opt for consumer protection this time too.
Dieter Schlenker, CEO of Taxi Deutschland, says: “Uber breaks German legislation every day to gain an advantage over the competition. Uber does not even have permission to transport people in Germany.”
- Taxi Deutschland eG sues Uber BV: “Uber transports passengers in Germany without any permit”