France to take legal action against Apple, Google for ‘abusive commercial practices’

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire (pictured) says France will take legal action against Apple and Alphabet’s Google a for “abusive commercial practices,” reports Bloomberg. He accuses the tech giants of taking advantage of French developers.

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“I learned that when developers develop their applications, and sell to Google and Apple, their prices are imposed, Google and Apple take all their data, Google and Apple can unilaterally rewrite their contracts,” Le Maire said on RTL radio. “All that is unacceptable and it’s not the economy that we want. They can’t treat our startups and developers the way they do.”

Le Maire’s office said an investigation by the ministry’s fraud office determined that between 2015 and 2017 there were “significant imbalances” in the relationship between the two companies and developers who sold via their application stores. He said the fines could be in the “million of euros.”

This isn’t Apple’s first legal tussle with the French government. In January a French prosecutor launched a preliminary investigation of Apple over alleged deception and planned obsolescence of its products following a complaint by a consumer organization.