Uber goes on the offensive against France, pressures European Commission

Feb 18, 2015
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Uber’s going over the French Government, which passed the Thévenoud Law late last year in an effort to appease demands of the Taxi commission. The law, which is named after its since-deposed legislator, restricts Uber’s ability to operate, and, while Uber’s appeal in France is still ongoing, a verdict on whether to ban UberPop, the company’s low cost, peer-to-peer service (which requires minimal formal training, and no license, contrary to UberX & Uber Black drivers) will be delivered February 23rd.

Uber already lost ground last December when UberPop was hit with a fine for advertising the service, and with European countries stacking up against Uber, CEO Travis Kalanick has no option other than going over the French Government to the European Commission, reports Les Echos.

Kalanick already made his case earlier this year at DLD Munich, hoping to win over law makers & public opinion by vowing job creation and fair treatment.

Meanwhile, several lawsuits in the US against “Gig Economy” companies, such as Uber & Lyft, may be the straw that broke the UberCamel’s back. Former contractors are arguing that “gig” startups which provide logistical infrastructure to put end-users directly in touch with independent contractors are employing people without providing their employee rights. The very definition of “employee” is being brought into question, and many say it’s not a question of contract type.

Germany, Spain & France are rallying fairly strongly against Uber, with various sprints of legislative action. If Uber hopes to find sympathy from the European Commission, they may find a stone wall awaiting them. That comment from United States President Barack Obama might be true about Europe’s regulations being commercially driven, but publicly calling it out might do more harm to US companies than good.

Photo via Dan Taylor/ Heisenberg Media