uber221Taxi companies around the world aren’t happy with the emergence of startups like Uber, but in Paris, the anger has reached new heights.

Five big French taxi unions organized a big protest on Monday and it turned violent, as one Uber car carrying two startup founders had its windows smashed and tires slashed. Rude Baguette first reported on the story this morning, and Uber has since confirmed the attack, saying it “condemns the incident.”

Kat Borlongan, co-founder of Five by Five, was inside the vehicle, along with Renaud Visage, co-founder of popular startup Eventbrite.

Here’s a few tweets from Borlongan:

And an image from Visage’s Twitter account:

Taxi drivers in Paris are upset with transportation network companies like Uber that allow riders to use smartphones to hail rides, calling it “unfair competition.” Today’s protest comes despite the fact that the French government just enacted a “15-minute law,” which forces Uber and others to wait 15 minutes after customers order a ride before picking them up.

Uber and other smartphone apps have been gaining popularity in Paris, the city where Uber founder Travis Kalanick conceived the idea for Uber.

uber2121The taxi-driver rage level hasn’t quite reached this intensity in Seattle, where taxi drivers parked outside of City Hall and honked their horns for an hour last August in their own form of protest.

However, the Emerald City drivers are disgruntled not so much with Uber, but rather ride-sharing startups like Lyft, Sidecar and UberX (Uber’s low-cost option) that allow people to essentially turn their own car into a taxi.

The startups, which also take advantage of smartphone features, are actually operating in violation of city laws and objecting to proposed regulations that would bring them into compliance with city rules. Still, the Seattle City Council has yet to officially decide how to regulate the companies, but is expected to do so in the first quarter of 2014.

Related: Why Portland is keeping Uber out of the Rose City

Comments

  • Guest

    This is unacceptable. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I implore the Parisian authorities to seek out and to punish the men responsible for this brutal and callous attack. We will not sit idly by as our vehicles come under attack just because of the manner by which we have chosen to hire them.

  • jay

    It’s France, where you can do anything except take a picture of a politician cheating on his wife.

  • Viet Nguyen

    Plot twist: protest organized using Eventbrite. Just kidding, this is a terrible act and the perps should be brought to justice. Also, it means Uber is totally killin’ it out there.

  • That Guy

    I’m with the French cab drivers.

  • Carl Setzer

    If the Parisian taxi drivers are trying to convince the world that they’re safer and more professional than Uber, they’ve failed.

  • Matt Wass de Czege

    “French government just enacted a “15-minute law,” which forces Uber and others to wait 15 minutes after customers order a ride before picking them up.” Really?? Governments are mandating that businesses deliver poor service.

  • ToughStuff2012

    In the US, this would be considered an assault and defending yourself with a gun would be justified.

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