Car-sharing service Uber Technologies is facing protests over its attempted expansion in to Europe. French cab drivers say their livelihoods are threatened by the expansion and are planning slow-downs throughout Paris Wednesday. Drivers from Milan, Lisbon, Madrid and London are also planning blockades in heavily populated tourist and shopping districts.
These drivers want European regulators to legislate tough rules against Uber, which doesn’t require drivers to be licensed cabbies. Current cab licenses cost about $270,000 each.
“France might as well just roll over for this one,” says Yahoo Finance’s Jeff Macke. “Uber puts together people who want the service with the actual drivers…little protests are just illustrating the problem that Uber is solving.”
In many cases, users find Uber to be more convenient than cabs and certainly nothing is less convenient than a protesting cab driver.
“The only reason Uber exists is because of the inefficiencies of cab services worldwide,” says Macke.
Uber was recently valued at $18.2 billion, a figure that Macke believes to be fair. “The problem is that everyone’s measuring Uber against the existing cab market. That’s the wrong metric," he says. "Uber should be measured by its potential market."
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