Business

France will ban UberPop cheaper ride service in 2015

Uber's low-cost ride ride-hailing service will be banned in France from the start of next year, the government said Monday as hundreds of taxi drivers blocked roads around Paris to protest what they claim are its unfair business practices.
France says it will effectively ban UberPop, a cheaper version of Uber shown here being used by driver Anthony Loussala-Dubreas. (Bastien Inzaurralde/Associated Press)

Uber's low-cost ride ride-hailing service will be banned in France from the start of next year, the government said Monday as hundreds of taxi drivers blocked roads around Paris to protest what they claim are its unfair business practices.

A new law tightening regulations for chauffeured rides will effectively ban the UberPop service as of Jan. 1, said Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesman for France's Interior Ministry.

"Currently, people who use UberPop are not protected if there is an accident. So not only is it illegal to offer this service but for the consumer there is a real danger," Brandet told the BFM television network.

Several hundred taxis blocked the roads heading from the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, then inched toward the French capital in their latest protest of the ride-sharing company.

France is the latest of several places where Uber has faced challenges to its service, which matches people seeking rides with drivers through a cellphone app. Traditional taxis say Uber has an unfair advantage because its drivers don't face the same requirements, insurance and taxes.

On Friday, a French court stopped short of banning the company but ordered Uber to make changes, including omitting "all mention suggesting it is legal" for its drivers to act like taxis - that is, driving around and waiting for clients.

Uber did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now