Uber execs ordered to stand trial in France

Uber execs ordered to stand trial in France
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Two Uber executives in France have been ordered to stand trial on charges related to running an illegal taxi service, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty and Thibaud Simphal, the company’s general managers for Western Europe and France, respectively, were released from custody and ordered to face the charges.

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The Journal reported Uber is also being charged as a corporation.

The two men will appear before the court on Sept. 30, according to the newspaper.

The charges range from running an illegal taxi service to poorly handling customer data. One of the charges exists under a law that made it illegal to connect paying customers with drivers who don’t have professional licenses.

Uber contends that the law targets their low-end service UberPop, which is the equivalent of UberX in the United States, and has challenged it in court.

"We are keen to continue talking to the French government about the regulatory framework for services like Uber," said an Uber representative on Tuesday.

"There is a way forward, with regulation that is focused on the needs and safety of the public, while also allowing more people to take advantage of these new opportunities.”

The company said Monday that the two executives were detained for questioning after they volunteered to speak to police. Last week saw violent demonstrations with French taxi drivers burning tires to protest Uber’s presence in the country.

Uber has faced regulatory hurdles, but it has pursued expansion at a breakneck pace. In the process, it has built a global lobbying operation known for aggressive tactics.

The ridesharing company is reportedly currently raising money at a $50 billion valuation — though some have raised questions about its cash flow.

— This story was updated at 5:06 p.m.