France Accuses Apple of Abusive Contracts, Will Sue Company

France to Sue Google, Apple Over 'Abusive Trade Practices' - Economy Minister

A complaint filed by the finance ministry asked a Paris court to order the companies to end "abusive commercial practices".

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

France will reportedly take Google and Apple to court over contractual terms imposed by the tech giants on startups and developers, according to a report by Reuters.

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

Several clauses have been found by the ministry to be in breach on French law, by creating a significant imbalance at the expense of developers, causing harm to them but also to the economy as a whole.

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French authorities said that the latest case brought against Apple and Google is created to address "significant imbalances" in how French software developers are treated. An Apple spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

France has had a complicated relationship with Internet giants.

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

Google, Amazon and Facebook have consistently praised France for its talented pool of engineers and researchers over the past years. "Le Maire further noted that start-ups face conditions imposed on them when selling their apps on Google and Apple which 'also gather data" and 'both can unilaterally modify contracts.' The minister added that the situation was simply unacceptable. The findings of a similar investigation into Amazon are being reviewed by a tribunal.

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