The California-based ride-sharing company was accused of running an illegal taxi service and it was hit with an 800,000-euro fine by a French court.
The ride hail companies, especially Uber, are facing increasingly more pressure around the world, as they are fighting both with regulatory challenges and with traditional taxi services. As an example, French taxi drivers protested against Uber in January, bringing accusations of unfair competition and claiming that the service is bending some rules. Based on accusations of conducting illegal taxi operations that disturbed the transport system and triggering protests than led to a public disorder, a French court imposed an 800,000 euro fine (900,000 dollars) on Uber, with only half of the amount needed to be paid though under a suspended sentence.
Furthermore, the company’s director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, and Thibaud Simphal, the manager in France, have also been found guilty of complicity and fined with 30,000 euros and 20,000 euros respectively. The persecutors initially asked that the managers to be banned from running a company in France. They faced a possible maximum sentence of five years in jail and a 1.5 million euro fine.
All this scrutiny was aimed towards the firm’s UberPop app, which allows anyone with a car and driver’s license to be part of the service. The French government forced Uber last year to shut down the low-cost facility under pressure from licensed taxi drivers. Uber still operates in France through 12,000 professional licensed drivers that connect with 1.5 million clients.