THE French branch of the liftsharing app Uber has been fined €100,000 by a court.
The tribunal correctionnel de Paris found that the company had overstepped a line with a new service UberPOP, which set minimum tariffs for journeys.
Uber allows users to arrange lifts around cities by linking together drivers and people making the same journey.
French law allows liftsharing, but states that drivers can receive no payment above the costs incurred by the journey.
The UberPOP service set a minimum tariff of €4 (compared to the fixed tariff base of in a Paris €6.85 taxi) and had advertised itself as a way for drivers to earn extra income.
The court ruled that what Uber was presenting as a liftsharing service, was actually a payment-based taxi service.
It fined the company €100,000 and ordered it to display notices of the ruling which explained that users of the UberPOP service could also be faced with prosecution.
The director general of Uber in Paris, Thibaud Simphal said there was no unfair competition as over-zealous drivers would be brought to heel and added that cost of running a car, insurance and depreciation of vehicles was not taken into account in the definition of the shared costs of vehicle-sharing.
Uber has found itself in court cases in countries around the world as it threatens traditional taxi monopolies.
Earlier this year taxis took part in a go-slow protest in Paris against the company’s practices which they claimed were unfair.