The PJ Tatler

Uber Execs Taken into Police Custody in France

A glimpse of our future?

French police have brought in two executives from U.S. technology company Uber for questioning as the government clamp down on the taxi and ride-sharing service intensifies, said a person from the prosecutor’s office.

Thibaud Simphal, the manager of Uber France, and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, the general manager for Western Europe, were detained.

The French government filed a legal complaint against Uber on Friday over UberPOP, one of the services on the popular smartphone app, which allows drivers to pick up passengers in their personal cars despite having no professional drivers’ licenses.

Taxi drivers, who accuse Uber of unfair competition, staged a major strike in France last week.

The “unfair competition” refrain is the one most often repeated whenever government entities are going after Uber. In American cities Uber is often the first real competition taxi companies have had. As someone who has ridden in a lot of cabs in the last few decades I can honestly say there isn’t much difference at all between the bureaucratically regulated cab companies. They aren’t really trying to stand out from one another, it’s more like they’re sinking to the lowest level customers will resign themselves to tolerating because they have no choice.

It is the choice that bothers them and the government entities that oversee them. They’d prefer one didn’t exist at all.