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France to Sue Google, Apple Over 'Abusive Trade Practices' - Economy Minister
14 March 2018, 10:48 | Erica Roy
France to sue Google, Apple over developer contracts: minister
France on Wednesday petitioned to fine Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google for allegedly taking advantage of smaller French software developers.
France will file a lawsuit against US tech giants Google and Apple for "abusive commercial practices", which include unilaterally imposing contractual terms on startups and developers, the country's economy minister said on Wednesday.
The French finance minister has announced plans to sue Google and Apple for "abusive trade practices". An investigation by the ministry's fraud office determined that there "significant imbalances" in the relationship between the companies and developers between 2015 and 2017.
France is to take legal action against Apple and Google over what it claims are "abusive business practices" that exploit developers and startups.
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.
He said startups face conditions imposed on them when selling their apps on Google and Apple which "also gather data" and "both can unilaterally modify contracts". The findings of a similar inquiry into Amazon a year ago are being reviewed by a tribunal, his office said. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire is set to speak with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross about the U.S. tax plan and is expected to call for an exemption for countries in the EU. 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.
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