Tech company shuts down UberPOP operations in France

This comes after fierce protests last week by licensed French taxi drivers who argue it threatens their livelihood with unfair competition.

The protest against against Uber has sparked a series of actions that are not entirely positive for the company

Uber Technologies will suspend its UberPOP ride-hailing service in France, the U.S. company said on Friday, after it faced often-violent protests and local authorities denounced it as an illegal taxi service, according to several reports.

Sources say after fierce protests last week by licensed French taxi drivers who argue it threatens their livelihood with unfair competition, France took two executives from California-based Uber into custody and said they will face trial in September.

France's legal clampdown was the latest setback for Uber in Europe. An Italian court in May banned unlicensed car-sharing services, two months after a German court issued a similar ban and imposed stiff fines for violations of local transport laws.

"We have decided to suspend UberPOP in France from 1800 GMT (1400 EDT) this Friday evening, primarily to assure the safety of Uber drivers," the newspaper Le Monde quoted Uber France head Thibaud Simphal as saying, adding some drivers had been targets of violence.

"The second reason is that we want to create a spirit of reconciliation and dialogue with public authorities to show we are acting responsibly," he said.

In a June 25 protest in numerous French cities, cabbies blocked roads to the capital's airports, overturned cars and burned tires to press for the scheme to be abolished.

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