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June 10, 2016

Uber rides into trouble in France and Germany

News: A French court fined Uber €800,000 for running illegal taxi service.

By CBR Staff Writer

Uber has suffered legal setbacks in France and Germany after court rulings in both the countries went against the ride-sharing company.

A French court has fined Uber €800,000 for running an illegal transport service with non-professional drivers. The court also fined two of the company’s executives a combined amount of €50,000.

The case is based on the UberPop service, which connects users through a smartphone app with non-professional drivers using their own cars.

Uber suspended the service in July 2015 after the French government banned it due to pressure from licensed taxi drivers.

The company said it would appeal the latest court ruling.

A company executive said: "We stopped UberPop last summer and we are disappointed by this judgment.

"The European commission has just published guidelines that support such services. The judgment does not impact our service in France today – which now connects more than 12,000 professional drivers with 1.5m passengers – but we will appeal."

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In another development, a regional court in Frankfurt upheld Germany’s ban on the UberPop service, rejecting an appeal by the company.

The Frankfurt ruling allows to fine Uber if it violates local transport laws by using drivers that are not licensed by the state in order to reduce costs.

Uber has used licensed drivers in the UK in order to avoid legal and other issues there.

Earlier this year, Uber agreed to pay as much as $25m in a bid to settle a lawsuit filed by the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco over insufficient driver’s background checks.

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