France’s Court of Cassation on Tuesday confirmed that ride-hailing app Uber’s condemnation for deceptive commercial practices and complicity in providing illegal taxi services over its early-2010s product Uber Pop.
The firm halted the Uber Pop service in 2015 after two managers were taken into custody.
A separate court of appeal ruling will now be needed to to rule on the firm’s fine of 800,000 euros (878,000) — half of it suspended.
UberPop was marketed as a ride-sharing service which would allow several passengers to share the cost of a trip.
But French courts have repeatedly held that Uber was not simply putting riders in touch with drivers as it claimed, but instead offering an illegal taxi service.
Taxi drivers especially had challenged the idea of competition from Uber drivers, who only had to register on the firm’s app rather than comply with training or other regulatory requirements.
The two managers, France and Western Europe chiefs Thibaud Simphal and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, also had their convictions confirmed by the Court of Cassation. Their fines of 20,000 and 30,000 euros will also now be reviewed by an appeals court.
The judges reiterated that only taxis are allowed to circulate or halt on public roads while looking for clients, whereas other drivers for hire must either return to their company’s premises or another authorised off-road parking place between journeys.
“This decision only covers the Uber Pop service, which put passengers in touch with amateur drivers and which we halted in 2015,” Uber France told AFP in a statement.
“Since then, Uber has deeply rethought its business model in light of local expectations… only professional hire car or taxi drivers can conduct business through the app” in France, it added.