French court fines Uber EUR800,000 for illegal service



A French court on Thursday fined Uber 800,000-euro over the launch and marketing of its controversial ride-sharing service UberPOP, while slapping additional fines on two regional executives.

The French court said the San Francisco-based firm was guilty of misleading consumers, illegal practice of the taxi trade, and unlawful collection of some personal data.

Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, who oversees Uber’s operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East was fined 30,000 euros, while Thibaud Simphal, in charge of the French market, was fined 20,000 euros.

French prosecutors had asked for a 1-million-euro fine for Uber, a 70,000-euro fine for Gore-Coty and a 50,000-euro fine for Simphal. They had also asked judges to bar the two executives from managing a company for five years.

The court opted for more lenient fines and rejected the request to bar the two men from running a business.

Half of the sums were nevertheless suspended.

Uber sparked violent protests in France

France’s highest court last September upheld a previous ban on UberPop, which puts customers in touch with amateur chauffeurs for budget prices.

The decision came after traditional taxi drivers launched violent protests against Uber around the country.

Uber can appeal the decision, which would defer the fines until a final court ruling is reached.

While UberPop is banned in France, the app-based Uber service still operates with professional drivers. In Spain and Italy, Uber is outlawed entirely.

More than 200 UberPop drivers have been fined under fast-track procedures in France, and the company has already been convicted of misleading commercial practices and fined 150,000 euros over UberPop by a Paris court.