France plans to sue Google, Apple over treatment of French software developers

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A French government minister is planning to sue Google and Apple over alleged “abusive commercial practices” that take advantage of French software developers.

France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday in a radio interview that French software developers who create applications for either Google Play Store or Apple App Store have seen unilaterally imposed prices and changes to their contracts by the Silicon Valley giants.

“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.

France’s consumer fraud watchdog agency DGCCRF confirmed that they were launching an investigation of Google and Apple, according to Reuters. Le Maire said the fine against the two companies could be millions of euros, according to Bloomberg.

“As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they currently do,” said Le Maire, according to Reuters.

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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. In December, Le Maire’s office filed a complaint against Amazon for allegedly abusing its suppliers with lopsided contract clauses and sought a record EUR10 million fine.

In the past few years, France maintained a schizophrenic relationship with American tech giants, both wooing them to build more operations in the country but also pursuing litigation and performing office raids against them for alleged consumer fraud abuses and tax evasion.

In January, the DGCCRF launched a probe against Apple over whether it …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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