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FRANCE

French appeal court raises fine on UberPop app

A taxi is reflected in a window at an Uber office in Hong Kong
A taxi is reflected in a window at an Uber office in Hong Kong Reuters/Tyrone Siu/Files

A French court has rejected an appeal by car-hire firm Uber and upped the fine on its UberPop app, declaring it a deceptive marketing practise. A lower court fined Uber 100,000 euros but the Paris appeal court raised the fine to 150,000 euros.

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Rejecting Uber's claim that banning its app, through which passengers can order a car driven by a private individual, was an infringement of its right to free speech, the court upheld the lower court's verdict.

And it raised the fine, although by 50,000 euros rather than the extra 100,000 called for by the prosecution.

The app was deemed misleading because it claimed to be a vehicle-sharing scheme when it was in fact a commercial offer, the court decided.

Taxi drivers and companies have strongly opposed the spread of Uber, pointing out that its drivers need have no professional training or qualifications and pay no social security charges or taxes.

The California-based company's app was suspended in France last July after a long dispute with the French government.

It has also been withdrawn in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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