French taxi drivers bring unfair competition case against Uber
Around 2,480 taxi drivers will embark on another round of their latest legal fight against Uber in Paris on Friday accusing the American giant of unfair competition as they seek around 455 million euros in damages.
Uber has had to battle a slew of legal challenges in the 12 years since it first began operating in France and this latest one pits them against some eight percent of the French profession with the plaintiffs backed by nine associations and unions out to secure victory over Uber France and Uber BV.
The French drivers launched the action in the wake of an earlier court of cassation decision recognizing the existence of a relationship of subordination between the Uber platform and one of its former drivers. The court on that occasion determined the driver had a contract of employment with the platform rather than freelance status.
They added they "intend to demonstrate that Uber has set up a system where illegality has been established as an operating principle, a system where violation of the law is used as a way to trample over the market, to the detriment of competition," one of the drivers' lawyers, Cedric Dubucq, said.
The drivers believe they are each out of pocket annually to the tune of 9,300 euros per year and also want damages and interest from Uber, which says the action is unfounded and "anachronistic".
"Today, more than 35,000 VTC and taxi drivers use our app to generate revenue. This action goes against the interest of an entire sector and drivers who wish to remain independent," an Uber spokeswoman said.
In a different case, the Paris Court of Appeal earlier this month ordered Uber to compensate 149 taxi drivers over unfair competition linked to the activity of its former app UberPop.
© 2023 AFP