France to Sue Apple, Google for 'Abusive Trade Practices'

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

"All that is unacceptable and it's not the economy that we want", Le Maire said. "I consider that Google and Apple, as powerful as they are, shouldn't treat our start-ups and our developers in the way they do today". It centres on the contractual terms imposed by the two companies on content and app developers selling software on Google Play and Apple's App Store.

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".

A French government minister is planning to sue Google and Apple over alleged "abusive commercial practices" that take advantage of French software developers. 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 spokeswoman Mathilde Mechin said: "We believe our terms comply with French laws and are looking forward to making our case in court".

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

France has had a complicated relationship with Internet giants.

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

The proposal was aimed at tech giants, like Google and Facebook, with revenues above 750 million euros ($928 million) worldwide and with digital revenues in the European Union of at least 10 million euros in a tax year.

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