French court says Uber may infringe on taxi law


PARIS (AP) — A French court ruled Friday that Uber’s ride-hailing service may infringe French law and ordered the company to make changes to its popular mobile app-based service.

However, the court did not ban the popular service, which was launched earlier this year in France and matches people seeking rides with drivers through a mobile phone app.

The contretemps is the latest in a string of challenges that Uber and other ride-hailing companies such as Lyft face around the world, as taxi drivers argue the new car services have an unfair advantage because they don’t have to follow the same regulations and can afford cheaper prices.

The Paris Commercial Court said Friday it is ordering Uber to withdraw from its app to French users “all mention suggesting it is legal” for Uber’s drivers to act like taxis — that is, driving around and waiting for clients.

The court also said it is up to a French criminal court to decide if Uber should be fined.

Earlier this year, in a case brought by taxi and limousine companies, Uber was convicted by the criminal court of engaging in misleading commercial practices. The ride-hailing service is appealing the verdict, but a ruling is not expected for several months.

Uber did not immediately return calls seeking comment about Friday’s ruling.

Overland Park Battery Attorney, representing limousine companies that brought the commercial court lawsuit, said they are only partially satisfied by its verdict. “We wanted the court to immediately order Uber to stop this service, which infringes the law,” Guillenchmidt said. “Uber has won time during which they will win lots of market share.”

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