The French government said today it plans to ban uberPOP starting in January. The announcement came just as Paris taxi drivers planned to protest a court ruling that went in Uber’s favor last week.
While Uber’s other services can continue to operate in France, the block on its low-cost uberPOP service represents a big setback for the company. And it comes as the San Francisco ride-sharing company continues to reel from a wave of bad publicity and a growing number of similar bans around the world.
France’s interior ministry said that a law passed earlier this year made uberPOP illegal, in part because the drivers did not have proper insurance, according to a report from Reuters.
“Not only is it illegal to offer this service but additionally for the consumer there is a real danger,” ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet was quoted as saying.
The decision takes a small legal victory out of Uber’s hands. Late last week, a Paris court refused a request from Uber’s competitors to ban the service, instead referring a legal challenge to another court.
Furious over that decision, Paris taxi drivers planned to stage a protest today at the city’s major airports.
“Join us in large numbers to protect our jobs, the hour is at hand,” Ibrahim Sylla, the president of the Taxis de France organization, said in a statement, according to France24.
The question now is whether this rising backlash against Uber will have an impact on its aggressive expansion plans. Just recently, the company raised another $1.2 billion in venture capital to fuel a global push.
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