A court in Germany has banned Uber from offering rides through rental car firms.
It’s another blow for the US ride-hailing company which has had its European ambitions curtailed by the courts.
The court said that it lacked a license to do so, in the latest legal setback for the US ride-hailing app.
A regional court in Frankfurt found that Uber’s business model violated several anti-competition laws.
The judges said Uber should have a rental car license of its own because it was more than just a go-between connecting drivers and customers.
“From the passenger’s point of view, Uber is providing the service,” said Judge Annette Theimer.
He pointed out that Uber set the prices and could pick the drivers.
The court also accused Uber of “not adequately checking” the car hire companies it works with.
It noted that not all drivers returned to their head office in between rides as legally required.
The ban is effective immediately but can still be appealed.
Uber downplayed its impact, saying it could continue to offer rides through independent contractors via Uber Taxi.
Uber stressed that customers could still use the app and said it would consider making changes to its business model to comply with the ruling.
Earlier, Uber launched ‘Uber Ski’ which is actually a way for Uber riders to request a car to take them to and from the slopes.
The vehicle also guaranteed to have enough rooms.
The new service landed in time for this winter and is available now in 23 locations across the United States (U.S).
Riders in served locations will see an Uber Ski icon on the ride request page.
It will enable them to select a vehicle that can handle extra gear.
The ride option comes with a surcharge, believed to be $8.
It seems reasonable considering the convenience of the service.
Driver with suitable cars can sign up to the service and accept rides from those heading to and from the slopes.