Uber, the popular on-demand ride service, has been on trial in France regarding the service’s position as ‘private hire cars’ and the following regulations. A court has ordered that Uber pays 1.2 million euros the French National Union of Taxis after days of mass taxi driver protests in Paris, the capital city of France.
The company has been charged with acting as traditional taxis. The regulations for private hire cars, as Uber is classified in France, stipulate that they must return to their base after each fare is completed. Any other action by Uber drivers, such as waiting in the streets for passengers or circling the town, is reserved for traditional taxi drivers. The National Union of Taxis alleges that Uber is taking away a third of their potential business with these unauthorized actions such as waiting in the streets.
According to the Union, Uber’s regulations are not strict enough on drivers who break these rules. The ambiguity in these regulations was the basis for their court case, and the taxi drivers want clearer guidelines from the San Francisco based company.
Uber argues that it has not neglected to inform drivers of the regulations. The company believes it has informed its drivers of the French laws regarding minicab operations, and a spokesperson told the Financial Times that “The merits of the case on which today’s decision was based are already under appeal… Clearly, we will appeal this particular outcome, too.”
It is unclear whether this court case will end the protests of taxi drivers, which are interfering with the running of the city. The operation of two of Paris’ main airports has been disrupted by the strikes.