May 28, 2015 / 7:13 PM / 2 years ago

EU Commission asks France for more information on taxi law

The logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street is seen in this photo illustration taken in Madrid on December 10, 2014.Sergio Perez

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Thursday it had asked Paris for more information on a new French law on taxis and chauffeured cars following a complaint from mobile phone taxi-booking service Uber.

Launched four years ago, the California-based company has expanded across Europe but has run into opposition from regular taxi drivers who say it breaks local taxi rules and violates licensing, insurance and safety regulations.

A number of European courts have banned Uber's unlicensed taxi service, UberPOP. The latest ban came earlier this week in Milan.

France's so-called Thevenoud law requires chauffeured cars to return to a base between fares, restricts their use of software to find clients in the street and banned unlicensed service, among other measures.

In November Uber filed a complaint with the Commission against the French law, arguing it favored regular taxis at Uber's expense and that France should have notified Brussels of the new law.

The Commission has written to the French government asking it for more information on the law, a Commission spokesman said.

"This latest letter is basically another nail in the coffin of an anti-consumer, anti-technology and archaically protectionist law," Uber's head of public policy Mark MacGann said on Thursday.

Ultimately Brussels could take France to court if it finds that the law breaks the EU treaties.

The request for information, however, does not mean that the Commission will launch formal proceedings against France.

Reporting by Julia Fioretti; editing by Andrew Roche

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