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Uber has announced it has suspended UberPOP in France until further notice. The move follows a week that saw two of Uber's top executives in the country detained by police and violent protests against the service.
One of the arrested executives, French director Thibaud Simphal, announced the news in an interview with Le Monde saying that the UberPOP service will no longer operate as of July 3 at 8PM. He added that the move was primarily to assure the safety of Uber drivers.
Animosity between French taxi drivers and Uber has been growing steadily in recent months, culminating in last week's violent protests. The anger stems from Uber not facing the same steep licensing fees as French cab drivers. Taxi unions claim this gives the San Francisco-based company an unfair competitve advantage.
In January, a change in French law effectively banned UberPOP in France, but the service was allowed to continue after a Paris appeals court declined to rule on its legality in March. A constitutional court is expected to issue a final decision on UberPOP's legal status in September. The company has said it would wait for the court's decision before it reinstated or permanently dropped the service.
Uber gave this statement: "We wish to thank the thousands of women and admirable men who, from Lille to Marseille via Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon, have enthusiastically participated in this revolution in urban transport by transporting you daily. All were able to remain calm despite the lies, calumny and brutality."