The reason: taxis persuaded government that chauffeur driven limos are "unfair competition".
Via translation from Les Echos, please consider Taxis against VTC: the conflict continues.
Note: "VTC" (Voiture de Tourisme avec Chauffeur) translates roughly as chauffeur driven touring car.
Starting January 1, limos must wait 15 minutes before they can pickup passenger. According the Minister of Crafts, Trade and Tourism and the Interior Minister, the delay helps distinguish the activity of VTCs from taxis.I had to look this up because it's the first I have heard of France's "Competition Authority".
The "Competition Authority" criticized the decree, emphasizing in particular that the radio taxis also operate on reservation. The "Competition Authority" claims the situation is "detrimental to consumers."
Wikipedia explains "The Autorité de la concurrence (English: Competition Authority) is France's national competition regulator."
It's shocking the Autorité de la concurrence actually translates its rulings and opinions into English. Here are some examples.
Opinions translated into English
- Opinion No 12-A-21 of 8 October 2012 on competition in the vehicle repair and maintenance sector and the spare parts manufacturing and distribution sector
- Opinion No 10-A-25 of 7 December 2010 on "category management" agreements between retail grocery operators and some of the suppliers thereof
- Opinion No 10-A-26 of 7 December 2010 on affiliation agreements of independent retailers and the terms for acquiring commercial land in the food retail sector
- Opinion No 10-A-29 of 14 December 2010 on the competitive operation of online advertising
- Opinion No 09-A-48 of 2 October 2009 relative to the operation of the dairy sector
What's even more shocking than decisions translated into English is the fact that the Autorité de la concurrence appears to be on the right side of the issue (Does someone at the Autorité de la concurrence operate a VTC on the side?)
Regardless, Hollande's Minister of Crafts, Trade and Tourism and the Interior Minister ruled in favor of taxis. But the taxis are not fully appeased either. Taxis don't want competition from VTCs at all.
This is the way things "work" in France.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock