France Targets Apple and Google for 'Abusive Commercial Practices'


French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Google and Apple unilaterally imposed prices and other contractual terms on software developers and he will be taking the two outfits to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices. "That's unacceptable. It's not the economy we want".

Apple and Google face legal action at the Paris commercial court that could result in a fine of Euro 2 million for unfair commercial practices. "I consider that Google and Apple, as powerful as they are, shouldn't treat our start-ups and our developers in the way they do today".

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

Apple declined to comment immediately on Le Maire's claims, but Google said its business practices "conformed to French law".

App developers, for example, were unable to negotiate the fees for having their products listed in Apple's App Store or Google Play.

Lille fans invade pitch, aim kicks at players
They had reportedly assured him they would back the team until the end of the season, but the truce crumbled in seconds. But over in Ligue One, Lille supporters took it to new extremes after their 1-1 home draw with Montpellier.

Once the operation was discovered, Le Maire took the ministry's fraud office into investigation and found out that there were some "significant imbalances" in the relationship between the two parties.

The French economy ministry is seeking to fine Amazon 10 million euros ($12.4 billion), according to media reports.

Google, Amazon and Facebook have consistently praised France for its talent pool of engineers and researchers over the past years.

The Developers Alliance, an industry group which boasts 70,000 developers globally as members, said it welcomes the support of the French government, but would rather see it focus on other fronts like the free flow of data and more openness between markets.