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France to start crackdown on ‘Uberpop-type’ services

December 31, 2014 1:58 PM
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France to start crackdown on ‘Uberpop-type’ services

PARIS — Uber Technologies Inc. remains defiant ahead of a promised crackdown on its lower-cost service in France, raising the possibility of a legal showdown in one of the car-hailing company’s biggest markets.

The French government on Wednesday published a decree putting into effect elements of a new taxi and car-service law that stiffens penalties for operating a car service that uses drivers without professional licenses--such as Uber’s lower-cost service, Uberpop.

Special taxi cops, known as “Boers,” will in coming days mount operations to round up drivers and impound cars for such “Uberpop-type,” said Pierre-Henry Brandet, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

Prosecutors could also pursue criminal charges against companies like Uber that operate them, under penalty of a fine of 300,000 euros ($364,644) and two years in prison, he added.

“We will do what we need to make sure the law is respected,” Brandet said in an interview Wednesday. “If there are infractions, there will be prosecutions.”

Uber says that it will continue to operate Uberpop until it is ordered to stop by a court.


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