In France, Uber And Executives Convicted Of Deceptive Commercial Practices

Image courtesy of Chris Goldberg

Ride-hailing app Uber’s service that lets any safe driver with access to a new-ish car become a driver for hire is generally popular with the frugal public all over the world, but is less popular with regulators and with professional taxi drivers. That’s been the case in France, where the company was convicted today of deceptive commercial practices and illegal business activity, and with its executives fined a collective €850,000 ($962,689).

According to the Associated Press, that broke down to €800,000 for the company itself, which is based in San Francisco, with the regional executive fined €30,000, and the general manager for France fined €20,000. The court suspended half of each fine.

Taxi drivers were staging sometimes-violent protests during the period when the legality of the UberPop service (called UberX here in the United States) in France was in question, and sought 100 million euros in damages from the company in court. That makes the total of €1 million in fines seem modest in comparison.

Uber’s argument during the trial as that the two executives weren’t the legal representatives of Uber in the country, and are just salaried employees. The fines indicate that the court didn’t buy that argument.

You can use your Uber app in France, but it’s a licensed chauffeur who will show up at your doorstep and not an amateur driver looking to pick up a few extra bucks.

Uber convicted, fined in French trial over taxi practices [AP]

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