• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Frankfurt court bans app's discount taxi rides
myTaxi lets customers order a cap to their exact location using their smartphone. Photo: DPA

Frankfurt court bans app's discount taxi rides

DPA/The Local · 19 Jan 2016, 18:01

Published: 19 Jan 2016 18:01 GMT+01:00

Daimler subsidiary mytaxi has regularly offered 50-percent deals over short time spans to interest more customers in booking their rides using the app.

But taxi companies took the newcomer to court over the discounts, saying that they infringed on Germany's legally defined, standardized taxi prices.

They said that the discounts represented unfair competition, as customers could only get the discount by ordering their cab via the mytaxi app, which connects them directly with drivers – bypassing the dispatch centres and their own app, Taxi Deutschland.

Although the drivers still earned their entire fee – with mytaxi paying them the 50 percent saving offered to the customer – the dispatchers said mytaxi was unfairly driving passengers away from their own system.

First-ever ruling against discounts

Now customers will find themselves paying full price for their taxi rides however they order the cab, while mytaxi faces a fine of up to €250,000 or even a prison sentence for managers if it ignores the court ruling.

It's the first time a court has decided that the app's rebates were infringing against the standardized fare laws.

A challenge by the Taxi and Hire Car Association (BZP) failed to convince Hamburg's state court, while the Baden-Württemberg upper state court in Stuttgart also rejected an injunction against mytaxi awarded by a lower-ranking judge.

But the North Rhine-Westphalia upper state court in Cologne has issued a temporary injunction forbidding discounts.

Now mytaxi must decide whether to appeal against the Frankfurt court's ruling, which does not yet have the force of law.

The ghost of Uber

Story continues below…

It's a case with echoes of the legal battles taxi drivers and companies have fought against car-hailing app Uber, whose expansion into Germany has been fraught with resistance.

But the battle against Uber has largely been fought on more fundamental grounds, with taxi organizations arguing that its drivers don't have to meet the same standards for insurance and qualifications as they do.

Uber's most controversial service, UberPop, is no longer available in Germany following a court ruling in Frankfurt last March.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
President who pioneered Moscow ties dies aged 97
Former Cold War President of West Germany Walter Scheel. Photo: DPA.

Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for his country's rapprochement with the communist East, has died aged 97, his party's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Poverty in eastern Germany. File photo: DPA

Eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Turkey's spy network in Germany 'thicker than Stasi's'
Photo: DPA.

Turkey has around 6,000 informants working in Germany, which experts say means they're each monitoring more people than the Stasi did in West Germany during the Cold War.

Germany's first 'intelligent' bridge to open in Nuremberg
File photo: DPA

An €11 million bridge, which is nearing completion in northern Bavaria, is set to include technology never seen before on the German Autobahn.

Stockpile food in case of attack, Germany tells citizens
Photo: DPA

Germany on Wednesday urged its population to stockpile food and water in case of terrorist or cyber attacks, as it adopted its first civil defence strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Ten injured after freight train crashes into bus in Osnabrück
The crash site in Osnabrück. Photo: DPA

A freight train crashed into a bus in Osnabrück on Wednesday morning, leaving several people badly injured, local media report.

Man wins ten-year court battle over €2.50 surcharge
Photo: DPA

An Austrian man has won a ten year court battle over an extra €2.50 he was asked to pay to get into a swimming pool in Bavaria a decade ago.

In Pictures
Düsseldorf swoons as Prince William comes for royal visit
'Well hello Mr. Prince'. Photo: DPA.

Prince William paid a visit to the Rhineland city of Düsseldorf on Wednesday to celebrate the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's 70th birthday. Here's a look at his royal stay.

Brexit
Frankfurt attempts to charm banks away from London
Frankfurt am Main. Photo: DPA

Germany's finance capital has spotted an opportunity with the Brexit-wary banking beasts of the Square Mile.

How did this bike end up on top of Berlin’s Molecule Man?
A professional climber 'rescuing' the bike hanging from the Molecule Man. Photo: DPA.

Berliners are still scratching their heads over how a bicycle ended up dangling from the capital’s iconic statue.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,582
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd