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Uber France, top executives to go to trial in September

Thibaud Simphal, director general of Uber France, in Paris 19 May 2015.
Thibaud Simphal, director general of Uber France, in Paris 19 May 2015. AFP

French prosecutors have ordered Uber France and two of its top executives to go on trial in September on charges the company enabled "illegal" taxi services.

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Uber France, its director general Thibaud Simphal and director for Western Europe Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty are being charged with "misleading commercial practices, complicity in the illegal exercise of the taxi profession and illegal use of private data", the Paris prosecutor's office said in a statement Tuesday.

The two Uber heads handed themselves in to police on Monday for questioning in relation to an investigation launched in 2014 of the American company, after violent protests by taxi drivers erupted over its UberPop app.

UberPop, which allows anyone to sign up without a professional chauffeur licence and pick up fares through the Uber smartphone app, was ruled illegal by the French government last year. The law has been difficult to enforce, however, as the American company, which has not yet exhausted all legal recourse, tells its drivers to keep working.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday that Paris would deploy 200 special police to apprehend anyone transporting paying customers without a licence. He said drivers risk having their vehicles seized.

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