Sunday, 17 June, 2018

France Accuses Apple of Abusive Contracts, Will Sue Company

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Emmett Howard | 14 March, 2018, 22:23

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has accused Apple and Google of imposing "abusive" contractual terms on French startups and developers.

Le Maire added that he finds it "unacceptable" that both companies can also gather data from developers and are both able to "unilaterally modify contracts".

"I will have Google and Apple taken to the Commercial Court of Paris for abusive trade practices, because I believe that Google and Apple, no matter how powerful they are, can not treat our start-ups and our developers the way they are doing today".

"I will therefore be taking Google and Apple to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices", Le Maire said. The company said it has been collaborating with the French fraud office on several matters over the past few years, including its Google Play app store.

The action is based on an inquiry by France's anti-fraud office from 2015 to 2017 which uncovered "a significant imbalance" in their relations with French companies, a finance ministry source told AFP.

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Le Maire also said he expected the European Union to close tax loopholes that benefit Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon by the start of 2019.

France has had a complicated relationship with Internet giants.

The French economy ministry is seeking to fine Amazon 10 million euros ($12.4 billion), according to media reports.

Le Maire reiterated that his government was working to establish worldwide rules obliging digital giants to pay taxes wherever they operate. It is unclear if European nations will obtain waivers, with Trump having singled out the EU as treating the United States badly in trade ties and threatening to tax cars as well.

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