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Uber fined 800,000 euros over low-cost service in France

Paris court also fines executives over UberPop

Chris Goldberg / Flickr

A Paris criminal court has fined Uber €800,000 ($907,000) over its low-cost UberPop service, which was banned under a law passed in 2014. Two Uber France executives, CEO Thibaud Simphal and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber's general manager for Western Europe, were also fined €20,000 and €30,000 respectively, according to the French news network BFM TV. Half of all the fines handed down were suspended.

UberPop came under fire last year from taxi unions who argued that the service unfairly undermined the market. Unlike Uber's other car services, UberPop connected users with non-professional drivers who did not face the same regulatory requirements as taxi and limo drivers. Taxi unions staged major protests against the service in Paris and other cities last year, as courts deliberated on the legality of UberPop, and Simphal and Gore-Coty were arrested on charges of operating an illegal business. France's highest court upheld the ban on UberPop in a ruling handed down in September 2015.

Taxi unions were seeking a fine of €100 million against Uber in the Paris court, and the two Uber executives could have faced jail time. The court also rejected the prosecutor's request that the executives be barred from operating any company in France for five years.

An Uber France spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.