French authorities have sided with protesters in cities like Paris, Marseille, and Aix-en-Provence, and are clamping down on Uber’s activities.
On Thursday, around 3,000 angry taxi drivers took to the streets to protest Uber, specifically Uber’s lower-cost offering UberPOP. The drivers see Uber as unfair competition, as its drivers don’t have to jump through the same hoops as traditional taxi drivers – mainly licensing, regulations, and inspections.
The protestors blocked roads to and from airports, as well as the beltway around the city of Paris. They flipped cars, attacked Uber drivers, and burned tires. The sometimes violent protests played out all day on social media.
— Mickael Flores (@mickaelflores) June 25, 2015
And French authorities have sided with the protesters. From Reuters:
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Friday he had launched legal action targeting local managers of U.S.-based ride-sharing service Uber, denouncing the attitude of the company as “cynical” and “arrogant”.
On Thursday Cazeneuve ordered Paris police to issue a decree banning UberPOP and said cars defying the order would be seized. Uber France general manager Thibaud Simphal retorted by saying the measures “changed nothing” and that demand for its services in France would continue.
Uber is remaining defiant, saying the French government is interfering with justice. A ruling on a 2014 law banning much of how Uber operates is expected this fall – but for now France is set on cracking down on Uber’s entire operation.