[JURIST] French officials on Tuesday ordered the trial of two senior executives for Uber Technologies [official website] on allegations of maintaining an illegal taxi service. Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty and Thibaud Simphal [LinkedIn profiles], general managers for Western Europe and France respectively, were detained on Monday for alleged violations of a French transportation law that bans running unlicensed taxi services. The two executives had previously said that UberPOP, a service of Uber, would continue to run in France until a court ruled against their service, despite being illegal since late last year. The service is accused of violating Article 40 of the French Penal Code [text, in French], punishable by a 300,000 euro fine and two years in prison. The trial is set [Reuters report] for September 30.
Uber has been banned or is facing legal trouble in many nations around the world, including the United States. Last week, France saw multiple riots [BBC report] staged by FTI in an effort to force a government crackdown on Uber. In April, taxi drivers in London staged a similar coup [CNET report], blockading London’s busy Oxford Street to bring awareness to the hardships they face due to undercutting by Uber. In January, the California Labor Commission ruled [JURIST report] that drivers for Uber are considered employees, not contractors, which could lead to higher costs for the company as they may have to begin paying benefits. Late last year, district attorneys from San Francisco and Los Angeles filed a consumer protection lawsuit [JURIST report] against Uber for misleading consumers about their safety and overcharging.