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A 'privileged' relationship with President Emmanuel Macron helped establish Uber in France

France's President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.  Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
France's President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Copyright Bertrand Guay/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Bertrand Guay/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved
By Mark Armstrong with AFP
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A parliamentary committee has concluded that President Emmanuel Macron helped establish the cab-hailing firm Uber in France by way of a "privileged" relationship with the online platform.

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Macron was the Minister for the Economy in the government of President François Hollande at the time when Uber was attempting to gain access to France.

The enquiry found that he had made a "secret deal" with the American company to give up its controversial Uber Pop app in exchange for simplifying the conditions required to obtain a chauffeur-driven car (VTC) licence.

The report goes on to say that "the American company has managed to compete unfairly with taxis by disregarding all legal requirements and by aggressively lobbying public decision-makers".

The enquiry was triggered by what became known as the 'Uber Files' - the leak of 124,000 internal documents leaked to the British newspaper The Guardian by Mark McGann, a former lobbyist for Uber. 

The committee launched its enquiry six months ago and has heard from 120 people, including two former prime ministers, Bernard Cazeneuve and Manuel Valls, as well as former Uber executives, in an attempt to identify Uber's actions in France between 2014 and 2017.

Twelve of the members of the committee of enquiry approved the final report - all of them from the Nupes, the Liot group or the RN - but the ten Renaissance MPs (Macron's party) and their allies, as well as the sole LR MP, abstained.

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