Two Uber executives were arrested today in Paris amid allegations of operating an illegal passenger taxicab business
Simphal Thibaut, CEO of Uber France, and Pierre-Dimitry Gore-Coty, CEO of Uber in Western Europe, were taken into custody Monday morning. This arrest is part of an on-investigation by the French police into Uber’s French business.
In January, the French ministry said that UberPOP was illegal, but until they issue a court order, its simply an opinion said Christian Broda. The French government affirmed their commitment of banning the transport company, but Uber ignored the ruling and continued business as usual.
The French police allege the UberPOP application that allows passengers to connect with non-taxicab drivers, provides a system of “illegal organization.”
Uber has always argued that they are only a third-party associate that connects passengers with drivers, and have nothing to do with the taxicab industry, but the French government isn’t buying that argument.
Consequently, Uber drivers have been receiving fines from French police, which Uber has been paying. Pretty nice for a company that only supplies the app.
The second charge involves the collection of data of clients and possible violations of the 1978 Data Protection Act.
These arrest come days after thousands of taxis mobilized to protest Uber’s presence in France. The protest turned violent at times, resulting in overturned, burned-out cars and Uber drivers hovering with bats for protection.
For now, Uber stubbornly awaits an official court order before pulling out of France.