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German court rules against taxi-hailing app

[JURIST] A German court on Tuesday ruled against the legality of the taxi-hailing app Mytaxi [official website]. Mytaxi began offering cab rides for half the regular price in several cities if customers agreed to an electronic payment method instead of cash. According to the Frankfurt court [Reuters report], this is illegal and "unfair commercial practice." The case was brought before the court by Taxi Deutschland [official website, in German]. Taxi Deutschland is a German taxi operating group with a competing app. Daimler [official website, in German], the German car maker that owns Mytaxi, has stated it will appeal the ruling as it is convinced its business practices are legal.

Regulators have been tough on ride-hailing apps. In March Uber [official website] was banned in Germany [BBC report] after a court decided it violated transportation laws for using drivers that do not have professional licences. In June France saw multiple riots [BBC report] staged by FTI in an effort to force a government crackdown on Uber. In April, taxi drivers in London staged a similar coup [CNET report], blockading London's busy Oxford Street to bring awareness to the hardships they face due to undercutting by Uber. In January, the California Labor Commission ruled [JURIST report] that drivers for Uber are considered employees, not contractors, which could lead to higher costs for the company as they may have to begin paying benefits.

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