An appeals court in Paris this morning declined to ban Uber's low-cost UberPop service, saying the company can continue to offer it until a constitutional court rules on a new law governing chauffeur licenses. The constitutional court is expected to rule in June, and the appeals court will reconvene in September.
UberPop drivers have been working in an ambiguous legal space since December, when a Paris commercial court decided not to ban the service and declined to rule on its legality. Days later, however, a spokesman for France's Interior Ministry said the service would be illegal under the so-called Thévenoud Law, which went into effect on January 1st and requires all chauffeurs to hold professional licenses and insurance. Some UberPop drivers, who are not required to hold licenses or insurance, have been fined since the law went into effect, though Uber has challenged the constitutionality of the law.
A "strong signal" from France's judiciary
Uber has faced major hurdles as it's expanded to new markets across the globe, with some governments raising concerns over its regulation and safety practices. Earlier this month, police raided the company's Paris offices as part of an investigation into UberPop. An Uber spokesperson described the raid as "a disproportionate action."
French taxi associations had appealed the December ruling allowing UberPop to operate, but the appeals court today said it would have to wait for the constitutional court to weigh in on the Thévenoud Law before determining whether UberPop should be banned. Uber welcomed today's ruling as "a strong signal" that the service is legal, with a spokesperson telling The Verge that the company remains "committed to working with local authorities to improve urban mobility."