Uber France ordered to pay taxi drivers for creating ‘unfair competition’
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Uber France ordered to pay taxi drivers for creating ‘unfair competition’

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Uber France was ordered on Friday to pay more than €180,000 in damages to over 900 taxi drivers and their union for creating “unfair competition” between 2014 and 2015 through the Uber Pop feature.

Uber France, which was sentenced in December 2015 by the Paris Court of Appeal for deceptive commercial practices, has this time been condemned in civil proceedings.

The court found that Uber, through its Uber Pop offer, had violated the rules of the market and “necessarily caused moral prejudice, consisting in particular in the damage caused to the image and reputation of taxi drivers.”

The company will therefore have to pay €200 in moral damages to 910 taxi drivers and €5,000 to the union of taxi drivers’ cooperative societies in the Paris region.

This case concerns an activity an Uber spokesperson said “was suspended in France in 2015,” adding that the application now only uses licensed drivers “who pass the same exams as taxi drivers.”

Uber has been having the same sort of struggles in Belgium, where Brussels has effectively banned the platform from operating out of concern that the American corporation’s business model runs antithetical to progressive European labour laws.

Brussels Minister President Rudi Vervoort promised reform before the start of summer, but that reform hasn’t come.

The Uber Pop service offered between February 2014 and July 2015 was the cause of the conviction in France.

It allowed users to be matched with vehicles whose drivers were private individuals who did not hold a taxi or VTC licence, which is needed for the professional transport of individuals.

In addition to the legal trouble for Uber, the service prompted a wave of protests from taxis.

It was eventually withdrawn and Uber was fined at the end of 2015 an amount of €150,000 by the Paris Court of Appeal.

The Brussels Times