France taking action against Apple for ‘abusive commercial practices’ over app developer agreements

The French government is taking legal action against Apple and Google over “abusive commercial practices” related to app developers, Bloomberg reports. 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. “All that is unacceptable and it’s not the economy that we want,” Le Maire said. “They can’t treat our startups and developers the way they do.”
An investigation by the ministry’s fraud office showed that between 2015 and 2017 there were “significant imbalances” between Apple and the developers that use their platform to sell apps. Le Maire floated the idea of imposing fines that could be in the “million of euros” over the way Apple conducts its app business. The company declined to comment, but the company has had a few high-profile problems with the French government in recent years. The French government is already scrutinizing Apple’s iPhone speed throttling, and at the height of Apple’s feud with the FBI over unlocking iPhones, one French politician proposed a 1 million euro fine for every iPhone Apple refuses to unlock in France (although that threat never came to fruition).

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