Frankfurt - A German court has slapped an injunction on the popular car pick-up service Uber across Germany because it lacked the necessary legal permits, it was announced on Tuesday.
The ruling, which Uber has indicated it will appeal, was issued by the Frankfurt regional court last week but only made public on Tuesday.
The San Francisco-based firm allows passengers to summon cars using an app on their smartphones and the service is often significantly cheaper than that of rival taxi companies, which lodged a complaint at the Frankfurt court.
Uber faces a fine of 250 000 euros (R3.5 million) if it ignores the ban.
The service, available in Germany since early 2013, has already been banned in a number of German cities, including Berlin. Under the Frankfurt court's ruling, the ban is now nationwide.
The German taxi federation BZP welcomed the ruling, insisting that the legal permits required under German law “are not an end in themselves, but safeguard quality and customer protection.”
“We're not frightened by new market players. But competition can only function if the same legal conditions apply to every one, including new market players,” BZP said.
“Internet services do not operate outside the law.”
Uber has been the subject of protests by taxi drivers in many European cities, including Paris and London.