Last week, taxi drivers in France protested against Uber, in what they see as unfair competition from the ride sharing service. The contretemps between the two drew the ire of the French government which, promised to sue the San-Francisco based company over what it called defiance of French laws. At the centre of the Uber- French government backed taxis feud is the Uber Pop service that allows anyone with a car to become an Uber driver. The government also see the service as a potential security threat as the drivers are not registered.
Uber has 1 million customers across France and has been keen on expanding the service to most Cities in France which, has sparked the backlash. French president Francois Hollande also weighed in calling for the dissolution of the UberPop service. In an interesting twist, Uber managers in France have been arrested today and taken to custody for questioning over illegal activity. The government also asked the police to enforce the closure of the service.
This is not the first time Uber is crossing paths with the French government. October 2014, a law placed a ban on putting clients in touch with unregistered drivers.Uber contested the law calling it unclear and a threat to freedom to do business. The Court is set to rule on the matter in September meaning Uber services will continue. This will be interesting to watch amidst a myriad of legal and political problems Uber faces including banning of the service in China to a driver rape case in India. The service has also faced internal problems with its drivers calling for their consideration as employees and not contractors.