Thursday, 26 April, 2018

France warns Apple and Google of fines over 'abusive' practices

Europe Tightens Screws on US Tech Amid Trans-Atlantic Tensions Over Trade France warns Apple and Google of fines over 'abusive' practices
Grady Vargas | 15 March, 2018, 06:19

The fraud office urged in its report fines of two million euros ($2.5 million) for each company, the ministry source said, though Le Maire said only that they would be "in the millions of euros". "I believe in an economy based on justice and I will take Google and Apple before the Paris Commercial Court for abusive business practices", said the minister.

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.

He accused Google and Apple of imposing tariffs on developers wishing to sell their apps to the internet giants. 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. "As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they now do", he said.

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.

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.

Credit French government
French finance minister Bruno Le Maire

Google, for its part, was handed a record fine of 2.4 billion euros by the European Union last June for illegally favoring its shopping service in search results, a penalty it has appealed. An Apple spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr Le Maire said the fines could be in the "million of euros".

In 2013, French authorities raided Apple's stores and distributors in France in a probe into the Cupertino tech giant's resale practices.

Le Maire reiterated that his government was working to establish worldwide rules obliging digital giants to pay taxes wherever they operate.

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