Uber banned in Berlin as officials cite rider safety

With Uber facing issues in Spain, France, and the UK, Germany becomes the latest European country to have its doubts about the car-sharing service.

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Authorities in Berlin, Germany have banned Uber. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

Berlin became the latest city to put the kibosh on Uber when local authorities announced Thursday they were banning the car-sharing service because they were concerned about passenger safety, according to the BBC.

Berlin's State Department of Civil and Regulatory Affairs said that, unlike traditional taxis, Uber's insurance might not cover passengers using the car service. The authorities also said if Uber ignored the ban it could be slapped with a 25,000 euro ($33,400) fine.

Uber set up shop in Berlin in February 2013. In a blog post on Thursday, the car service vowed to fight the ban.

"We intend to formally challenge this decision and fully expect that Berlin will follow the Hamburg authorities' lead and overturn the prohibition order," Uber Germany General Manager Fabien Nestmann 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 ban in Berlin is just one of many problems Uber is facing in European cities. In Spain, legislation that outlaws any type of for-profit private transportation, like Uber, is in the works; protests by taxi drivers in Paris have turned violent; and, in London, black cab drivers have taken the company to court.

 

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