France To Sue Google And Apple Alleging Abusive App Store Business Practices

Authorities in France are set to file a lawsuit against two of the biggest tech firms in the world: U.S.-based Google and Apple. The suit was announced by France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. The minister said that he had been made aware that both Google and Apple had imposed price and contract changes on developers who were selling software on Google Play and the App Store.
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"I will therefore be taking Google and Apple to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices," Le Maire said. "As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they currently do."

After Le Maire stated that he intended to take the tech giants to court, France's DGCCRF consumer fraud group confirmed that it has begun legal action against Apple and Google. Google spokeswoman Mathilde Mechin said, "We believe our terms comply with French laws and are looking forward to making our case in court."

Apple has offered no official comment on the suit. Le Maire said that he also expects that the E.U. will be closing loopholes in tax law that allows tech firms including Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon to benefit by the start of 2019. Google is the dominant player in the smartphone OS market with nearly an 80 percent share, while Apple takes up the bulk of the remainder. At the moment, there doesn't appear to be any credible threats to these two tech moguls in this space, as Microsoft has for the most part abandoned its efforts with Windows 10 Mobile.