France Threatens Apple, Google Over 'Abusive' Business Practice

Europe Tightens Screws on US Tech Amid Trans-Atlantic Tensions Over Trade

France's consumer fraud watchdog agency DGCCRF confirmed that they were launching an investigation of Google and Apple, according to Reuters.

"As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they now do", said Le Maire, according to Reuters. He said start-ups face conditions imposed on them when selling their apps on Google and Apple which "also gather data" and "both can unilaterally modify contracts".

"I will therefore be taking Google and Apple to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices", Le Maire said. "I believe in an economy based on justice and I will take Google and Apple before the Paris Commercial Court for abusive business practices", said the minister.

In an interview with RTL Radio, the Minister denounced the prices and contractual terms imposed by the Internet giants on the nation's developers.

French authorities said that the latest case brought against Apple and Google is created to address "significant imbalances" in how French software developers are treated.

The findings of a similar probe into Amazon.com Inc. past year are being reviewed by a tribunal, Le Maire's office said. The findings of a similar inquiry into Amazon previous year are being reviewed by a tribunal, his office said. In France, "planned obsolescence" - the practice of a device maker purposefully shortening the life of the product to pressure users to upgrade to a newer model - is illegal and can carry heavy fines and jail terms for its executives. 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". He also expects the European Union to close the tax vulnerabilities officially that benefit the two companies and other tech firms by 2019.

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