March 2, 2018 / 2:12 PM / 20 days ago

Uber abandons effort to have UberPOP reinstated in Germany

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Ride-hailing firm Uber said it has withdrawn an appeal lodged with Germany’s high court to have its UberPOP service reinstated as part of a broader strategy shift to work with drivers licensed to carry paying passengers.

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. A Frankfurt high court will hold a hearing on a recent lawsuit brought against Uberpop by Taxi Deutschland on Tuesday. San Francisco-based Uber, which allows users to summon taxi-like services on their smartphones, offers two main services, Uber, its classic low-cost, limousine pick-up service, and Uberpop, a newer ride-sharing service, which connects private drivers to passengers - an established practice in Germany that nonetheless operates in a legal grey area of rules governing commercial transportation. The company has faced regulatory scrutiny and court injunctions from its early days, even as it has expanded rapidly into roughly 150 cities around the world. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT CRIME LAW TRANSPORT)

UberPOP was forced to suspend its service, which relied on non-professional drivers using their own vehicles, in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

“Our approach in Germany has changed a long time ago, which is why we are withdrawing the appeal. Today, we only work with licensed limousine and taxi partners,” an Uber spokeswoman said on Friday.

Uber said it continues to invest in Germany, and promised to cooperate with regulators, municipalities, public transport providers and car makers to help tackle issues like congestion and pollution.

Germany’s Automobilwoche was first to report that Uber had withdrawn its court appeal.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Arno Schuetze

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