France de­clares le­gal war against Google, Ap­ple

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Business -

FRANCE will take le­gal ac­tion against Google and Ap­ple for “abu­sive busi­ness prac­tices”, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bruno Le Maire said yes­ter­day as transat­lantic ties threaten to be riven by a trade war. “I be­lieve in an econ­omy based on jus­tice and I will take Google and Ap­ple be­fore the Paris Com­mer­cial Court for abu­sive busi­ness prac­tices” against French start-ups, Le Maire said on RTL ra­dio. 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.” The min­is­ter said the sit­u­a­tion is un­ac­cept­able.

“I con­sider that Google and Ap­ple, as pow­er­ful as they are, shouldn’t treat our start-ups and our devel­op­ers in the way they do to­day,” said Le Maire. The ac­tion against the firms comes as U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has moved to­wards im­pos­ing a 25-per­cent tar­iff on im­ported steel and 10-per­cent tar­iff on im­ports of alu­minium. It is un­clear if Euro­pean na­tions will ob­tain waivers, with Trump hav­ing sin­gled out the EU as treat­ing the United States badly in trade ties and threat­en­ing to tax cars as well. Le Maire has pre­vi­ously threat­ened to tax the two firms based on their sales in France, de­nounc­ing the le­gal strate­gies they use to pay taxes at lower rates in other EU coun­tries. He added the cur­rent ac­tion could re­sult in penal­ties reach­ing sev­eral mil­lion eu­ros.

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