French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has announced that he intends to sue Google and Apple for unfair business practices, because the tech companies impose unilateral conditions on developers and start-ups.
The minister made the statements in an interview with the French RTL. The Reuters news agency writes based on the minister’s statements that Apple and Google also impose prices on software developers in addition to contract conditions. Reuters quotes Le Maire as saying, “Google and Apple should not use their power to treat our developers and start-ups the way they currently do.”
He announces that he wants to sue the companies before the Paris Commercial Court for unfair business practices. The newspaper Le Monde writes on the basis of information from the ministry that the summons has already been filed and that the announcement takes place on the eve of the presentation of a report from regulator Dgccrf. That is about the business practices of app stores, according to the newspaper.
Le Maire also expects the EU to take tax measures against large tech companies. At the beginning of this month, the minister announced that the EU is working on plans to tax these companies with a percentage between 2 and 6 percent. A guideline with concrete rules should be published shortly.
France recently took steps against Amazon by suing the company for abusing its dominant position by imposing unfair terms on sellers on its platform. Here too, France takes offense at the possibility of unilaterally changing conditions.
Update, 15-03: Apple issued the following statement: “We are proud to have such a strong relationship with tens of thousands of developers in France who have made 1 billion euros in the App Store.” “Apple has always stood for user privacy and security and cannot access transactions with third-party apps.”