Uber just made some more enemies in Europe.
Uber, along with two of its top executives in Europe, were just slapped with a $500,000 fine for running an illegal transportation company in the country. Across the European market, in general, Uber has faced an immense amount of backlash from the taxi drivers who have claimed that Uber is finding loopholes to operate outside the scope of local regulations.
Beyond that, the taxi drivers have accused Uber of posing a threat to the public's safety, a claim Uber has fought against. But now, this most recent blow to Uber as it looks to expand across Europe stems from its operation of UberPop, which was Uber's low-cost service that allowed drivers to operate without professional driver licenses, which is not within regulation in the region. Uber banned the service, but not before authorities hit Uber with the alleged charges.
Uber was initially fined $906,000, but this figure was eventually cut nearly in half. Two executives — Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, who leads the company's operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Thibaud Simphal, Uber’s general manager in France — were also fined a combined $28,500. The fine could have been up to $1.7 million, and the execs could have faced five years in prison, along with a $340,000 fine each.
“The judgment does not impact our service in France today — which now connects more than 12,000 professional drivers with 1.5 million passengers — but we will appeal,” Gareth Mead, an Uber spokesman, said in prepared statement.
Meanwhile, Uber also faces problems back in the states.
The judge in Uber's New York anti-trust case has ordered the release of documents to determine if the private investigators hired by the ride-hailing service gathered information about its competitors in a fraudulent manner.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff is specifically looking to determine if Uber directly instructed its investigators to lie to get further information about Spencer Meyer, the lead plaintiff in the antitrust lawsuit, and his attorney. The suit alleges that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is part of a conspiracy to fix prices with Uber drivers. Interestingly, the case names Kalanick and not Uber, though Uber is trying to intervene in the lawsuit.
According to the suit, Uber’s investigators allegedly contacted Meyer’s attorney’s colleagues under the guise of trying to write a profile of an up-and-coming labor lawyer in the U.S. Uber has denied having any knowledge of the alleged lies.