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Taxi drivers eject Uber passengers

Mass protest sees online ride-sharing drivers pulled over and their customers forced to get out of vehicle

TAXI drivers in Paris have staged a mass protest against the online ride-sharing service Uber, pulling over cars and making passengers get out of the vehicle.

About 50 licensed drivers took part in the operation at points around the city in the early hours of Saturday morning, under the watchful eye of police.

Similar protests have been held elsewhere in France, including on the Riviera where taxi drivers set up a trap for an Uber driver at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on Thursday.

The UberPop application allows ordinary members of the public to sell rides in their car, with a smartphone app using GPS tracking to put customers in contact with the nearest available vehicle.

One licensed Paris driver told reporters: "We've been waiting a year and nothing has been done. UberPop is undeclared and illegal work."

Another driver added: "We've had enough of unfair competition, the fact that Uber thinks it is above the law. Our work is declining, they are parking at our taxi ranks, there is constant tension."

A Paris court fined Uber €100,000 last year, but the American firm, valued at about $50billion, has lodged an appeal.

France's highest court, the Cour de Cassation, is looking at whether the sanctions against Uber are anti-constitutional.

On Thursday, an Uber driver was acquitted by a Paris court of illegal taxi activities.

Uber plans to keep growing in France. Earlier this week it announced launches in Strasbourg and Nantes.

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