Uber and authorities in France are heading for a bit of a fight following new laws in the country requiring that car services need to wait a minimum of 15 minutes after receiving a pickup request or reservation before they can actually pick up fares. The point of contention here, though, is that licensed cabs aren't subject to the same set of rules, which is striking some as an arbitrary ruling that favors traditional cab operations over car-sharing services.

Naturally, Uber, along with its French competitors, aren't going to take this lying down, as The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the matter is being appealed to France's highest administrative court. "It's an effort by the government to slow down innovation to preserve the interests of traditional companies," argues Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber's boss in France and Northern Europe. "We feel good about our chances of blocking it."

The taxi companies, though, have some ground to stand on as well: "These car services are doing the same work as taxis, but without the same constraints. It's unfair competition," Alain Griset, chairman of the Union Nationale des Taxis said. "There need to be different rules because they are different forms of transport."

Griset may have a point – pre-arranged cars ordered via smartphone apps probably haven't been great for traditional cabbies – but as we're reading it, this new arrangement doesn't seem any more fair than the old rules. And it also doesn't account for consumers who, knowing the 15-minute rule, might just order their rides a bit earlier than before.

We'll be keeping an eye on this legal tussle, if only to see how it might eventually impact ride-sharing legislation in the US. Stay tuned.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Jarda
      • 11 Months Ago
      France is one seriously ******-up country.
      Val
      • 11 Months Ago
      the matter is being appealed to France's highest administrative court. And since this is france, the courts will be in favor of the entrenched interests. "If a service eliminates a job, then this service must be eliminated"
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Val
        When you have no clue how a system works, better shut up. Makes you look lie a fool otherwise.
          ckm
          • 11 Months Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          Hhmm, I'm French and I totally agree with Val. France is all about protectionism & entrenched interests. Since you don't understand this, it's not likely you've ever actually been to France or even lived there....
      Technoir
      • 11 Months Ago
      What good can come from this socialist country? France has been on a downward slope for a while already; I don't think they can be competitive again soon considering how difficult it is to change their attitudes.
        ericmarseille
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        The french taxis are probably the worst example to take to scorn "socialist" France. It is on the contrary the best example of corporatist capitalism gone mad. In theory, although the number of taxis are limited through a licensing system, the law of supply and demand should apply, except that the interest of french taxis, most of them independent workers, is to charge the highest fares and to limit the number of licenses so that they can resell them to a premium when retiring. Each time a government has tried to change that (i.e. more taxis, lesser fares, more competition) they've staged huge demonstrations and blocked traffic on a national scale. They're basically egoistical, organized ************* who take the French population hostage at the slightest hint of a diminution of their living standards, which are comfortable.
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        Socialism? What does it have to do with news?
          Technoir
          • 11 Months Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          thequebecerinfrance It has to do with it, because the Taxi driver's union is lobbying the decision makers to prevent competition.
        aatbloke1967
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        "What good can come from this socialist country" Another idiot who has absolutely no idea what socialism is and even if they did, would never apply the label to France which is home to several of the world's largest conglomerates.
      Pat
      • 11 Months Ago
      Taxi companies are subject to rules, which in some part protect consumers. What happens when one these Uber cars gets into a crash? When a disagreement occurs? This is similar to the fight between hotel owners and people who let their rooms in private homes. While there is a great benefit to the consumer in private bedrooms and private cars, there is an overall negative effect on the economy and society in general.
        Pat
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Pat
        After posting, I went to the Uber website ... I was mistaken as to what it is exactly. It's essentially a car service that you can order online. And in some cities, it's simply a taxi service that you can order online.
      Dan Sturges
      • 11 Months Ago
      That's how it works in the land of atoms. Uber is no Google
    • Load More Comments