Click here to view the Transport and Maritime Law Newsletter

The stunning success of booking platforms of vehicles with drivers has at the same time caused a high concentration of the market. The consequences are already visible with demonstrations of drivers who see their remuneration dwindle and prices rise for consumers.

In order to increase competition between those platforms and facilitate the entry of new market players, the French legislator has decided to ban any clause, agreement or practice which limits the freedom of drivers to work for themselves (without platforms) or for other booking platforms (exclusivity clauses or minimum turnover clauses are particularly targeted).

These agreements, which concern especially taxis and VTC (chauffeured cars) are regarded as anti-competitive, and will become null and void from 1 March 2017. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the system, the legislator has provided for a series of sanctions similar to those existing for unlawful agreements under competition law.

It should also be noted that to open up the market to new entrants, these restrictive competitive practices, which are now prohibited, may be authorized by the French competition authority if justification is provided that they allow the emergence of new players and are beneficial to customers.