France Will Fine Apple and Google for 'Abusive Business Practices'


"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, according to Bloomberg.

Paris: France said on Wednesday it will take Google and Apple to court and seek fines of 2 million euros ($2.5 million) over what it termed "abusive" contractual terms imposed by the tech giants on startups and developers.

France is to sue Google and Apple over abusive trade practices against its startups and software developers, the country's Minister of Economy and Finance said on Twitter on 14 March.

The minister also expressed hope that the new taxation rules for the revenues of GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) that the European Commission is expected to present at the end of March would start being implemented in Europe from the beginning of 2019.

The fraud office urged in its report fines of two million euros ($2.5 million) for each company, the ministry source said, though Le Maire said only that they would be "in the millions of euros".

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Apple has yet to comment on the situation, but Google spokeswoman Mathilde Mechin said: "We believe our terms comply with French laws and are looking forward to making our case in court".

Le Maire, who was appointed last year to his position by President Emmanuel Macron, has been targeting American technology giants in his first year in office.

France seems to have a complicated relationship with tech companies.

The findings of a similar probe into Inc. a year ago are being reviewed by a tribunal, Le Maire's office said. He also expects the European Union to close the tax vulnerabilities officially that benefit the two companies and other tech firms by 2019.