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France Accuses Apple of Abusive Contracts, Will Sue Company

14 March 2018

Le Maire added that, if found guilty, Apple and Google could face fines in the "millions of euros".

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire commented on the case during a French radio show saying "No matter how powerful Google and Apple may be, they can not treat our start-ups and developers the way they do today".

In response to the French minister, Google said in a statement: "With more than 1000 downloads per second, Google Play is a great way for European app developers large and small, including many in France, to distribute their apps to people all around the world". He criticised the companies' practices, saying that they impose prices on developers and have the power to unilaterally rewrite their contracts.

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Technology start-ups are a favourite of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has sought to overhaul the nation's laws and regulations to allow entrepreneurs to flourish.

The developer says Apple had required it to install certain software elements in its own apps in order to secure access to the App Store.

"We're expecting a lot from this suit, and we're not the only ones". Earlier this year, French regulators launched an investigation into the firm's "deliberate" slowing down of older iPhones.

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

According to the Wall Street Journal, the recent US tax rules and President Trump's discussion of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could affect tech and pharmaceutical companies based in Europe. It is unclear if European nations will obtain waivers, with Trump having singled out the EU as treating the United States badly in trade ties and threatening to tax cars as well.

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France Accuses Apple of Abusive Contracts, Will Sue Company