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Uber Allowed to Operate in France Though Bans Continue Worldwide
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For now, Uber will be allowed to operate in France.

Summary: Although banned in several areas and facing criminal complaints in others, Uber will be allowed to operate in France.

After being banned in various locations around the globe, Uber finally caught a break when a judge in Paris decided not to block the company’s UberPop service, which allows users to catch a lift from private cars.

  
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According to Bloomberg, Uber has suffered some bad press in the past few weeks. It has been sued by the district attorneys of both Los Angeles and San Francisco over allegations that it makes false promises about the background checks of its drivers. The suit came after the service was banned in Spain. Rio de Janeiro has deemed the service illegal, and the Netherlands has also put the brakes on the company.

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However, the service will be allowed to continue in France, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, the general manager for Uber in Western Europe, explained. The company is gaining business in France, which means more revenue and more jobs for the French. Gore-Coty added, “Today’s French court ruling is good news—it’s a very positive message for our entire industry.”

Other Uber services were not addressed in the court ruling. This includes UberX, which is a more expensive Uber service. UberX drivers must have a permit. Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron noted that there is no discussion of a country-wide ban on Uber at this point. “Uber is a reality in Paris, but you have to protect people,” he explained. “It doesn’t make sense to have a crazy driver without a license because one day you’ll have an issue.”

Uber has been sued in Boston as well. 

According to Uber, there are 500,000 regular customers in France. Uber operates in roughly 20 European cities. Paris was its first European client. It has the second-largest customer-base, second only to London.

The French have not been overly welcoming to the service, however. Uber has brought jobs to France, but cab drivers have blocked roads and airports in protest. Many cab companies are angry at Uber’s intrusion into their areas of business, and have demanded that the company be stopped.

A Cook County woman also pressed charges against Uber for alleged unwanted advances from a driver.

Gore-Coty notes that although there have been several legal setbacks for the company recently, it continues to grow. “There’s enormous appetite for our services in Western Europe; the market is growing very strongly. All the court decisions, the difficult week we’ve had, they just show we’re innovating in one of the world’s most regulated industries. That creates tensions.”

Recently, a Paris court issued a fine of 100,000 euros (approximately $125,000) against Uber for identifying UberPop as a carpooling service. Uber contested the decision. Veolia Transdev SA owns some taxi activities, and is included in a group of companies that have begun fighting Uber in commercial court.

In addition, Brussels has filed a criminal complaint against Uber, and has been sued by Portland, Oregon and banned in New Delhi after an Uber driver allegedly raped a passenger.

Photo credit: economienouvelle.fr



 

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