Uber taxi app banned in Berlin on safety grounds
San Francisco start-up has struggled to gain acceptance in other cities
Mobile taxi app Uber has been banned in Berlin by the city's State Department of Civil and Regulatory Affairs.
The authority issued a statement revealing it had banned the app, set up in Berlin last February, on passenger safety grounds and threatened the firm with a 25,000 euro (£20,000) fine for ignoring the order.
The Berlin ruling states: "Uber is from now on no longer allowed to use a smartphone app or similar application, or offer services via this app which are in breach of the Public Transport Act."
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Uber, which plans to challenge the ban, has already been banned in the German city of Hamburg and it has come up against strong opposition in a number of other European cities, including London and Paris.
Fabien Nestmann, general manager at Uber in Germany, said: "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."
The Association of Berlin Taxi Drivers welcomed the ruling in a statement on its website.
"As taxi drivers, we have to meet a series of rules and commitments," said its chairman, Richard Leipold. "With its decision the senate has clarified that these apply to every player on the market, even digital competitors."