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France to ban UberPop in 2015

Uber's low-cost ride ride-hailing service will be banned in France from the start of next year, the government has said as hundreds of taxi drivers blocked roads around Paris to protest about it.

A new law tightening regulations for chauffeured rides will effectively ban the UberPop service as of January 1, said Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

"Currently, people who use UberPop are not protected if there is an accident. So not only is it illegal to offer this service but for the consumer there is a real danger," he told BFM television.

Several hundred taxis blocked roads heading from the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, then inched toward the French capital in their latest protest against the ride-sharing company.

France is the latest of several places where Uber has faced challenges to its service, which matches people seeking rides with drivers through a mobile phone app.

Traditional taxis say Uber has an unfair advantage because its drivers do not face the same requirements, insurance and taxes.

On Friday, a French court stopped short of banning the company but ordered Uber to make changes, including omitting "all mention suggesting it is legal" for its drivers to act like taxis - that is, driving around and waiting for clients.

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