The French government is taking both Apple and Google to court, accusing the companies of ‘abusive trade practices’ in the way that they treat developers.

Reporting on the case is light on detail, but France appears to have three objections to the way the relationship works between app stores and developers …

  • Apple & Google decide the commission they will take, with no option for negotiation
  • Both companies impose contract terms which developers are forced to accept
  • And can unilaterally change those terms any time they wish

Reuters reports remarks made by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

I will […] be taking Google and Apple to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices.

As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they currently do.

Le Maire also commented on new tax measures the European Union is planning to apply to tech companies making online sales in Europe.

Le Maire also said he expected the European Union to close tax loopholes that benefit Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon by the start of 2019.

The minister said that sanctions might be applied that would be measured ‘in millions of Euros.’

The European Union has of course already declared Apple’s past tax arrangements with the Irish government illegal, demanding that the government collect €13B ($15B) in back-tax. Both Ireland and Apple are appealing that ruling, with the money being held in escrow until it is finally settled, likely years from now.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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