France upping police controls of unauthorized taxi drivers, amid battle with Uber

France's government is intensifying police controls of unauthorized taxi drivers, amid a high-level battle between traditional taxis and booming private services such as Uber.

The interior and foreign ministers said in a statement Thursday that inspectors already cracked down during the Cannes Film Festival last month, and is urging prosecutors and police to better coordinate actions against unauthorized drivers.

The ministers also announced fixed rates for official taxi rides between Paris and its main airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly. Visiting tourists often complain about the lack of a fixed rate, and about a shortage of cabs.

Uber has faced long-running court battles in France over its ride services, which hook up passengers with drivers and avoid the highly regulated taxi system.