Update: Uber is fighting back against the impending ban with…a petition. It’s already well on the way to its goal of 60,000 signatures.
Original story follows…
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Friday brought good news for Uber in France as a commercial court in Paris refused to hear a lawsuit brought by its competitors that tried to ban its UberPop service, but a new week has brought new problems. The French interior ministry announced today that UberPop will be banned in France from January.
Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told French TV station iTELE, that a new law regulating taxis and chauffeured cars taking effect in 2015 is more restrictive. On UberPop specifically he said: “Not only is it illegal to offer this service but additionally for the consumer there is real danger.”
Uber’s French operation was fined €100,000 in October for fraudulent business practices. A court found it had advertised UberPop as a car pool instead of a paid transportation service. An appeal from Uber is pending.
The announcement that UberPop will be banned came as French taxi unions called a one-day protest against Uber, planning to block 260 km of roads around Paris with slow moving motorcades during rush hour.
Last week, at Le Web, French economic minister Emmanuel Macron, said of Uber: “These startups, they are part of this economy. And it’s fine and it’s good. But when you speak about driving people, you have to protect people. You have to provide the best possible level in terms of security.”
The French decision follows high profile bans on Uber services in India last week.
Uber has yet to comment on the latest twist in its tricky relationship with France.