France said it will sue Google and Apple for 'abusive trade practices'

France To Sue Google Apple Over Developer Contracts Says Minister

Le Maire added he finds unacceptable that both companies can also gather data from the developers and "unilaterally modify contracts". As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they now do.

The French government said Wednesday that it would take Google and Apple to court over "abusive business practices" against smaller rivals, threatening fines that could further strain transatlantic ties as fears of a trade war grow.

Mistreatment of startups, developers, overwhelmingly dominant positions, and abusive commercial practices cited as reasons for probe.

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"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". 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. 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. An Apple spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr Le Maire said the action could result in fines of millions of euros for both firms. French authorities have denied that the sudden crackdown on tech firms has any relation to the Unite States' new tariffs and taxes, however, France has recently begun speaking out against tech firms with a finance ministry official recently stating that Europe "needs to stand up and defend its own interests".

The likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook meanwhile have consistently praised France for its talent pool of engineers and researchers over the past years.

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