Uber fined $900,000 in France for illegal service

Paris: Ride-hailing firm Uber has been fined $900,000 in France for using non-professional drivers between February 2014 and July 2015, the media reported on Friday. The Paris Criminal Court ruled on Thursday that Uber, based in San Francisco, had operated illegally by putting clients in contact with "road transport providers" for free with its low-cost UberPOP ride-sharing service, Xinhua reported. According to a report by technology news provider TechCrunch.com, Uber France General Manager Thibaud Simphal and head of Uber's European operations Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty were also fined $34,000 and $23,000 respectively, as they were found guilty of misleading business pratices and operating an illegal service. Uber suspended UberPOP in France in July 2015 after an organised push from taxi drivers as Uber refused to obey a 2014 order to shut down UberPop. As a professional license is not needed to become an Uber driver, traditional taxi services have accused UberPop of unfair competition. Uber has been a magnet for criticism and has already been banned in several European countries including Spain, Portugal and Germany.