Uber-files wet Macron | Humanity
We knew his taste for “disruption” since his participation, as a manager within Rothschild & Cie, in the Attali commission “for the liberation of French growth”. Emmanuel Macron did not wait for his accession to the presidency of the Republic to become the herald of the “start-up nation”. Based on thousands of internal Uber documents dating from 2013 to 2017, an investigation by the ICIJ, an international consortium of investigative journalists, including Le Monde and the Radio France investigative cell, published this Sunday evening, reveals « how Emmanuel Macron got involved when the VTC giant arrived in France ». A multi-step involvement.
Soften French legislation
The first dates back to October 1, 2014. According to the ICIJ investigation, Emmanuel Macron received several members of Uber’s management at Bercy, starting with the CEO, Travis Kalanick. At that time, the American company tried to use the vagueness of the legislation on private passenger transport to establish itself, to the chagrin of taxis. Supposed to restore order, the Thévenoud law then starts from the observation “that VTC transport activities are not always carried out in compliance with the rules, which are not very restrictive, of the tourism code. An American company called UBER, which is not a carrier but a company that connects drivers and customers, is the subject of legal proceedings by the State services for having places a particular UBER-POP offer which is similar to an illegal taxi activity”.
« Overall, the objective of the Ministry of the Economy is to move forward in order to close the VTC taxi file while avoiding too many barriers being imposed on the development of the VTC sector », is it noted in a report of the meeting. The following months, the leaders of Uber do not hesitate to reconnect with the host of Bercy.
This was the case during an investigation by the fraud prevention services (DGCCRF) at the multinational’s premises in Lyon, then, at the beginning of 2015, to try to obtain a reduction in the conditions for carrying out the activity of VTC, included in the Thévenoud law, and unfavorable to the Uber Pop service. Parliamentary amendments are then imagined in the Macron Law « for growth, activity and equal economic opportunity », not adopted.
On June 28, in the midst of demonstrations of taxi hostilities towards VTC services, Uber approached the Minister of the Economy with the idea of monetizing the end of the Uber Pop service against deregulation of the sector.
Rebelote July 6, 2015, in full search conducted by the tax services at the headquarters of Uber France. The investigation reveals a new exchange of SMS in October when the prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône, Laurent Nunez (former Secretary of State for the Interior from 2018 to 2020 and current National Coordinator of Intelligence and the Fight against terrorism), prohibits Uber X races in Marseille, before softening its decree.