Want to arrange a limo in France to take you to the airport or go on a private tour? Thanks to a new law in France, you have to wait a minimum of 15 minutes except at 4 or 5 star hotels.

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.

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.”

I had to look this up because it’s the first I have heard of France’s “Competition Authority”.

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

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