2 Uber managers detained in France over low-cost service

AP News
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Posted: Jun 29, 2015 1:30 PM

PARIS (AP) — French authorities detained two senior Uber managers for questioning on Monday over "illicit activity" involving its low-cost ride-hailing service.

The detentions came amid rising tensions between the government and the American company, which culminated last week in a violence-marred taxi strike that blocked roads around the country.

French authorities are frustrated that Uber doesn't pay the same taxes and social charges as traditional taxis, whose drivers have lashed out against what they see as unfair competition. Uber, meanwhile, argues that the French system is outdated and needs reform to keep up with apps and geo-localization.

Uber said in a statement that its general managers for France and Western Europe were questioned Monday.

"We are happy to answer questions the authorities have about our service and look forward to resolving these issues," it said.

The company assured passengers that it would ensure their safety, after last week's violence.

Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, the Paris prosecutor's spokeswoman, didn't name the two Uber managers detained.

Uber officials last week vowed to keep operating the lowest-cost UberPop service until France's top court rules on it. A spot check of the app Monday showed drivers available in central Paris.

The standoff reflects larger tensions in France over how to regulate fast-moving technology and stay globally competitive while ensuring labor protections.

San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc. has also run into legal problems elsewhere in Europe, as well as in China and India.