France is taking a tough stance against Uber and has issued the company with a (US) $900,000 fine, targeting the company’s UberPOP services. A court in Paris handed out the punishment for Uber’s operations from February 2014 through July 2015, while also fining two of the company’s executives.
The $900,000 fine will be payable in half, with the other half handed as a suspended sentence. UberPOP is unavailable in Canada, but is a similar mix between the company’s cheap fare service UberX and the growing UberPOOL which lets riders share a car.
UberPOP has been hugely controversial in Europe and governments have been trying to ban the service outright, with France, and the Low Countries outlawing the business. However, in a similar move to its Canadian operations, Uber continued to operate in those countries unregulated and illegally. France took a tough action and pulled Uber through the courts.
Like UberX in Canada, UberPOP drivers do not need specific licenses and often ride without sufficient auto insurance. Taxi drivers have gone to war with the service in France, especially in Paris where there have been regular protests against Uber. The US based company has been paying any UberPOP driver fines and valued at $40 billion, the company can easily afford France’s punishment.
The two executives fined were unrelated to the UberPOP case, but it was another example of France clamping down on the company. The courts ruled that the executives had been running an illegal taxi operation.