French police raided Uber’s Paris office this week, as part of an investigation into its UberPop service. According to media reports, 25 officers raided the office for six hours on Monday, seizing emails, documents, and smartphones used by drivers.
Thibaud Simphal, Uber France general manager, to French daily Le Nouvel Observateur:
“We see in this raid a disproportionate action, carried out on shaky legal grounds.”
The low-cost UberPop service has been at the center of ongoing controversy in France, where authorities deemed it illegal under a law that went into effect on January 1st. The law requires that all chauffeurs are licensed and insured — conditions that UberPop does not meet, according to French authorities. 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, is still available in France, though according to FranceInfo, about 250 chauffeurs have faced fines since the beginning of the year.
Uber called Monday’s raid an “attempt at intimidation” by the French government. In a statement, the company noted that the raid unfolded two days after France’s supreme court referred two “key provisions” of the chauffeur licensing law to the country’s constitutional court. The company added that it plans to “vigorously defend the rights conferred upon it by EU law and the French Constitution.”
Source: The Verge