Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Sci-tech | By Eric Barnett

France warns Apple, Google of fines over 'abusive' practices against startups

France warns Apple, Google of fines over 'abusive' practices against startups

"They can't treat our startups and developers the way they do".

(AAPL) could be forced to pay out "several million euros" in fines after a high-ranking government official in France pledged to take legal action against the two companies for abusive business practices. Le Maire said that the companies are taking advantage of French developers with the said practices and would be fined in "millions of euros"(via Reuters and Bloomberg).

France is to sue Google and Apple over abusive trade practices against its startups and software developers, the country's Minister of Economy and Finance said on Twitter on 14 March. "When our developers want to sell their app on Google or Apple, the fees are imposed on them", Mr. Le Maire said. Some developers are reportedly unhappy that Apple and Google sometimes receive a percentage of in-app purchases from mobile applications and gain more access to the personal details of users than the developers do.

Google said its terms comply with French laws and it intends to make that case in court, according to an e-mailed statement by a representative for the company in France.

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Le Maire, who was appointed last year to his position by President Emmanuel Macron, has been targeting American technology giants in his first year in office.

In an interview with RTL radio, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire accused the firms of preying on small businesses.

France seems to have a complicated relationship with tech companies. He also expects the European Union to close the tax vulnerabilities officially that benefit the two companies and other tech firms by 2019. In December, Le Maire's office filed a complaint against Amazon for allegedly abusing its suppliers with lopsided contract clauses and sought a record EUR10 million fine.

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