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The cost of becoming a legitimate taxi driver in most European markets is so high that they’re not about to let newcomers step in and get access to customers without the same sacrifices.
The Uber Wars have officially arrived across Europe’s cities. As the ride-sharing app (or, as is the preferred parlance these days, “transportation network company”) has rolled out across the continent, its parent company has become embroiled in a complicated mesh of courtroom battles and public inquiries, with smartphone-enabled ride-hailing locked in a multi-city showdown with existing taxi services.
In France, Europe’s Uber wars have crossed over into actual violence, and this week even got a homophobic mini-scandal as a side order.
Uber and existing taxi services have been fighting each other on several fronts. First came Brussels, where Uber launched in February and ran into trouble pretty much straight away. By early March, two cars signed up to Uber had already been seized by police for flouting local taxi regulations.