Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Research | By Clarence Powell

France to act against Google, Apple

France to act against Google, Apple

"All that is unacceptable and it's not the economy that we want", Le Maire said. He said start-ups face conditions imposed on them when selling their apps on Google and Apple which "also gather data" and "both can unilaterally modify contracts".

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.

The Wall Street Journal reports that French Finance Ministry is considering fining tech giants Apple and Google for taking advantages of smaller French software developers.

Le Maire said these practices are unfair: "As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they now do". Finance ministry fraud office's investigation showed that there were significant imbalances between Google, Apple and French developers who sold their apps via App and Play Store.

Google said its terms comply with French laws and it intends to make that case in court, according to an e-mailed statement by a representative for the company in France.

Credit French government
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire

He said in particular that the 2 United States giants imposed financial conditions on French app developers while siphoning data on their use, and that both Apple and Google "can unilaterally modify contracts". The findings of a similar inquiry into Amazon past year are being reviewed by a tribunal, his office said.

France has had a complicated relationship with Internet giants.

'My responsiblity is to ensure economic law and order, ' said Le Maire.

Le Maire reiterated that his government was working to establish global rules obliging digital giants to pay taxes wherever they operate.

France was already pursuing Apple, Google and other U.S. technology giants over the legal strategies that let them route their income from across the European Union through low-tax nations.

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