By enabling people to buy rides from drivers without taxi permits, the smartphone application Uber had violated German law, according to a court in Frankfurt.
In a preliminary injunction, the court has forbidden Uber from continuing its services in Germany. The injunction comes in response to a lawsuit by the national association of taxi drivers.
Violations will result in a fine against Uber of 250,000 euros ($328,108) per ride. Uber plans to appeal the decision and said it would continue offering its services until a final ruling has been made.
Via smartphone, Uber connects people who need rides with individuals who offer transportation services, circumventing traditional taxis. The price is often significantly cheaper than a taxi fare. Founded in San Francisco, Uber is now active in 42 countries and more than 200 cities worldwide.
In Germany, Uber has been active in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. Prior to the court injunction, Uber had already been prohibited from offering its services in individual German cities, such as Berlin.
slk/jr (AFP, dpa)