A case study of vested interests trying to fight off new competitors
“PARIS is the only city in the world where it is hard to find a taxi.” So in 2008 said an embarrassed Nicolas Sarkozy, then France's president, exasperated by the near-impossibility of hailing a cab on the capital's streets. He vowed to fix the problem, but backed down after cabbies blocked the streets during days of protest. Six years on, his Socialist successor, Fran?ois Hollande, is again facing up to taxi drivers, this time as incumbents try to keep out smartphone-enabled private cabs.
In rolling strikes this week, scores of licensed taxi drivers jammed the traffic by blocking intermittently the ring-road or périphérique, access to airports and the Place de la Concorde. Their gripe The emergence of new private cab services, known as voitures de tourisme avec chauffeur, which can be ordered via a mobile app. With 17,600 licensed taxis, the Paris region is not far off London's total of 22,000 black cabs. But the French capital has a dearth of minicabs: just a few thousand, against 50,000 in London. Until recently, it has been all but impossible in Paris to pre-book reasonably priced, fixed-fare trips.
在这周持续罢工中，大量持有执照的出租车司机堵塞了交通，他们间歇性地堵住了通往机场和协和广场的环城公路或环城大道。 他们对被称为voitures de tourisme avec chauffeur（司机驾驶汽车）这一新型私人出租车服务的出现满腹牢骚，这一服务可以帮助人们通过一个移动应用程序预定出租车。 巴黎地区拥有17,600辆具备牌照的出租车，这个数目离拥有22，000辆黑色出租车的伦敦已经不远了。 但法国首都严重缺乏“小巴”：数量只有几千，而在伦敦，其数量却多达50000辆。直至最近，人们在巴黎都几乎不可能预订到价格合理，票价固定的车辆服务。
The arrival of start-ups such as SnapCar, AlloCab or Uber, a San Francisco-based operator, which supply a clean car and a friendly ride at a click, has been a revelation. Their growth was unleashed by a 2009 law, originally meant to deregulate the chauffeured-car tourist market. This was far from the wholesale liberalisation of the taxi industry Mr Sarkozy had once sought: his adviser, Jacques Attali, wanted up to 60,000 taxis and cabs on the Paris streets. And taxis still have a monopoly on kerbside hailing. Yet the new operators have shaken up the market and enraged taxi drivers. Incumbents' licences, the numbers of which are limited, now trade for around 200,000 ($270,000). The taxi lobby argues that drivers' livelihoods are under threat from the competition. Last month the protests turned nasty when some of Uber's cars were smashed up.
一些新兴公司的出现为解决这一问题提供了新的思路，比如SnapCar，AlloCab及总部位于旧金山的运营商Uber，只需点击一下，它们就可提供一辆干净的汽车和令人满意的乘车服务。 这些公司的成长得益于一项2009年通过的法律，该法律原意是放开旅游市场，提供配备司机的旅游车。 而此后出现的情形与萨科齐曾经试图大规模自由化的士市场的想法相距甚远：他的顾问，雅克·阿塔利，想让巴黎街头的士总数达到60,000，并且的士仍在街头拦车上保持垄断。 然而，新的运营商已经动摇了市场并激怒了的士司机。限量的的士执照现在叫价为约200,000（$ 270,000）。 的士游说团体认为，在此竞争中司机们的生计正面临着威胁。 上个月，一些Uber的车被砸，这使得抗议局面变得棘手。
Despite his new pro-reform image, Mr Hollande's approach has scarcely been start-up-friendly. Beginning in January the government imposed on private cabs a 15-minute wait before picking up passengers, but this decree has been suspended by the State Council, the highest administrative court. In response to the protests, the government has appointed a Socialist deputy as a mediator. He accused the Sarkozy government of “lighting a powder keg” by starting deregulation in the first place.
尽管树立起了支持改革的新形象，但奥朗德的做法对新兴公司们可不怎么友好。 从一月份开始，政府强制规定，私人出租车在载客前等待15分钟。不过这项法令已经被最高行政法院——国务委员会叫停。 为应对抗议活动，政府已经另选一名社会党议员作为调解人。 该调解人指责萨科齐政府从一开始放松管制就是“玩火自焚”的行为。
For their part, the start-ups want the decree outlawed. The competition authority was against it on the grounds that it would make consumers worse off. This is a novel argument in a country where producer lobbies are powerful and the state is uncomfortable about technology disrupting markets. Now that Parisians have begun to see how nice and convenient cabs can be, attitudes may change. “People in France are fed up with monopolies,” argues Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, head of Uber in France. “The French now realise that in real life more competition brings innovation and improves the level of service.”
对于新兴公司而言，它们希望奥朗德的法令被取缔。 竞争管理机构对此法令也持反对态度，理由是这将使消费者消费状况更糟。 在一个生产者游说团强大，政府对于技术扰乱市场感到无所适从的国家里，这是一个新奇的争论。 既然巴黎人已经逐渐看到了出租车的好处和便利之处，态度可能会改变。 “法国人民已经受够了垄断，”Uber在法国的负责人Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty认为，“法国人已经认识到，在生活中，更多的竞争会带来创新，而这种创新会提高服务水平。”译者：王颖 校对：周晓婷
1.try to 设法
例句:Let's try to get round the difficulty.
2.keep out 留在外面;扣留
例句:It seems Calvin is nothing more than a financial hassle& one that Bethenny chooses to keep out of her life.
3.access to 有权使用
例句:My ex-wife deliberately sabotages my access to the children.
4.response to 回应
例句:But policy and market panics are made in response to how things appear, not how things actually are.