Once again, Uber has been run out of a large market. The networked transportation app has been thrown out of three of the five largest cities in Germany.
Uber has suspended service in Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Dusseldorf because of what it calls “a difficult regulatory environment,” Reuters reported. That means the only places where you can use Uber in Europe’s largest and most prosperous economy are Berlin and Munich.
The reason Uber left those cities? Local courts apparently labelled the service as an independent car rental and not a cab company. Another reason why the company pulled out was that it is facing stiff fines for running an unlicensed taxi service. Basically, nobody knows if Uber is actually allowed under German law or not. As in the United States, Uber finds its fate in the hands of judges and lawyers.
That means Uber has effectively been driven out of at least three European countries, France, Spain, and Germany. That is not a very good track record for a company that is supposedly worth $50 billion.
Uber Now Allowed at Chicago Airports
Uber also enjoyed a rare victory on Nov. 3, 2015. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that Uber and Lyft vehicles will now be allowed to operate at Chicago’s airports.
That could be a huge win for Uber because Chicago’s O’Hare International is America’s third busiest airport. Under an announcement made by Emanuel, ride-sharing drivers will be able to start picking up fares at both O’Hare and Midway International Airport, which is the Midwest hub for one of America’s most popular airlines, Southwest, on Nov. 18.
Okay, that sounds good, but I imagine that the taxi cab industry will not take this lying down. Most likely, there will be lawsuits, legal challenges, and possibly worse. What happens if Chicago’s cab operators decide to block the entrances to the airports and start taking sledgehammers to Uber vehicles like their brethren in Paris? My guess is that the battle for those airports is far from over.
Once again, one has to wonder what people are investing in at Uber. How is a company whose business model may not be legal a great investment? Inquiring minds want to know.