France to sue Google and Apple

France to take legal action against Google Apple

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The move is seen as protecting French software developers against "abusive trade practices".

Mr Le Maire's office said an investigation by the ministry's fraud office determined that between 2015 and 2017 there were "significant imbalances" in the relationship between the two companies and developers who sold via their application stores.

France said on Wednesday it will take Google and Apple to court and seek fines of 2 million euros (US$2.5 million) over what it termed "abusive" contractual terms imposed by the tech giants on startups and developers.

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"As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they now do".

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire took issue with the strict controls Apple imposes on things like pricing, data use and the terms of contracts. An Apple spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

Le Parisien reported last December that the Finance Ministry is seeking to fine Amazon 10 million euros.

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France was already pursuing Apple, Google and other United States technology giants over the legal strategies that let them route their income from across the European Union through low-tax nations.

European officials are preparing to announce next week an "electroshock" plan for taxing digital economy revenues which would make companies pay a greater share of their taxes in the countries where they earn their profits.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the recent US tax rules and President Trump's discussion of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could affect tech and pharmaceutical companies based in Europe.

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