Berlin’s State Department of Civil and Regulatory Affairs has banned Uber within city limits, claiming that the service threatens passenger safety. The department believes that Uber passengers might not be insured in the same way passengers in traditional taxi services are. BBC:
Fabien Nestmann, general manager at Uber in Germany, said the company would challenge the ban.“The decision from the Berlin authorities is not progressive and it’s seeking to limit consumer choice for all the wrong reasons,” he said. “As a new entrant we’re bringing much-needed competition to a market that hasn’t changed in years.”
There’s been a lot of stories going around recently about some of Uber’s underhanded business practices, such as calling Lyft drivers to cancel orders and cracking down on drivers who drive for both Uber and Lyft. Consumer pressure should be applied to change these practices, but as nasty as Uber might be at the moment, service jobs enabled by technology are the future of our economy. Countries that maintain regulatory barriers to protect entrenched interests like taxi companies are just discouraging innovation, not to mention keeping customers from enjoying greater convenience and lower prices.