French police raided Uber's office in Paris this week, as part of an investigation into its controversial UberPop service. According to French media reports, 25 officers raided Uber's headquarters for six hours on Monday, seizing emails, documents, and smartphones used by Uber drivers.
"We see in this raid a disproportionate action."
The company's low-cost UberPop service has been at the center of ongoing controversy in France, where authorities deemed it illegal under a new law that went into effect on January 1st. The law requires all chauffeurs to be licensed and insured — conditions that, according to French authorities, UberPop does not meet. Uber insists that the service is legal under French law, and has filed appeals with the European Commission. UberPop, which connects clients with non-professional drivers, remains available in France, though some 250 chauffeurs have been fined since the beginning of the year, according to FranceInfo.
Uber described Monday's raid as an "attempt at intimidation" on the part of the French government. In a statement provided to The Verge, the company noted that the raid unfolded 48 hours after France's supreme court referred "two key provisions" of the chauffeur licensing law to the country's constitutional court. Uber added that it plans to "vigorously defend the rights conferred upon it by EU law and the French Constitution."
"We see in this raid a disproportionate action, carried out on shaky legal grounds," Thibaud Simphal, Uber France's general manager, tells French daily Le Nouvel Observateur.
This article has been updated to include statements from Uber.