France To Sue Google, Apple Over Developer Contracts, Says Minister

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

What are your thoughts on the French government taking Apple and Google to court over misusing developers with "abusive and commercial practices"?

The proposal was aimed at tech giants, like Google and Facebook, with revenues above 750 million euros ($928 million) worldwide and with digital revenues in the European Union of at least 10 million euros in a tax year. "All that is unacceptable and it's not the economy that we want".

"As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they now do", said Le Maire, according to Reuters. The country might also seek the elimination of these unilateral contract terms and standardized commissions, which could create significant headaches for both Google and Apple.

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Mr Le Maire said the action could result in fines of millions of euros for both firms.

In 2013, French authorities raided Apple's stores and distributors in France in a probe into the Cupertino tech giant's resale practices. They've cited the quality of candidates as the main reason for setting up labs in and around Paris on themes from artificial intelligence to delivery drones.

The report noted statements by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire saying he had become aware that Alphabet Inc's Google and Apple unilaterally imposed prices and other contractual terms on software developers.

The findings of a similar probe into Amazon.com Inc. past year are being reviewed by a tribunal, Le Maire's office said.

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