European Commission to challenge French taxi law following Uber complaint
Apr 19, 2016 12:26 PM EDT
The European Commission is preparing to challenge a French law on taxis and chauffeured cars after ride-sharing company Uber complained, two people familiar with the matter, said.
France's Thevenoud law, said Reuters, requires chauffeured cars to return to base and restricts the use of software to find cutomers and banned unlicensed services. Uber, the California based ride-hailing service, claims the measure discriminates against their business model and said France should have informed Brussels of the law.
With Uber's complaint, the commission is preparing to issue a so-called letter of formal notice which represents the first stage of an infringement procedure in cases where Brussels suspects that a national measure breaches the EU treaties.
Would-be passengers summon Uber rides via a smartphone app, and the company has seen exponential growth in Europe, as well as numerous court challenges resulting to the banning of its unlicensed taxi service, UberPOP.
By law, the commission could bring France to court if two parties do not come to a compromise. C-net reports that the case could be referred to the European Court of Justice, Europe's highest court, in such a situation. Uber continues to expand around the world as it announced Tuesday it will launch in Cardiff, Wales. Sydney airport in Australia also said it will soon allow Uber pick ups.
The challenge is expected to come in late May, said the sources, although the commission has yet to come up with a final decision, Voice of America reported. The commission, according to its spokesman, was looking at how it could "encourage the development of new and innovative services and the temporary use of assets, without favoring one business model over another.
"In mid-2016 we will provide guidance on how existing EU law applies to the collaborative economy," Jakub Adamowicz said.
A French court last month ruled that banning chauffeured cars' use of geolocational technology to help passengers find available rides was illegal. It also said France should have notified Brussels about the measure.