France drags Apple and Google to court

France has been promoting its start-ups to grab part of the spotlight on the global tech scene

France has been promoting its start-ups to grab part of the spotlight on the global tech scene

Apple and Google face legal action at the Paris commercial court that could result in a fine of Euro 2 million for unfair commercial practices.

"I will have Google and Apple taken to the Commercial Court of Paris for abusive trade practices, because I believe that Google and Apple, no matter how powerful they are, can not treat our start-ups and our developers the way they are doing today".

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Le Maire also said he expected the European Union to close tax loopholes that benefit Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon by the start of 2019. Fines are likely to be about 2 million euros ($2.5 million) per company, accused of taking advantage of local developers. An investigation by the ministry's fraud office determined that there "significant imbalances" in the relationship between the companies and developers between 2015 and 2017. "They can't treat our startups and developers the way they do".

Apple and Google are not saying anything about the court moves. An Apple spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment. They've cited the quality of candidates as the main reason for setting up labs in and around Paris on themes from artificial intelligence to delivery drones. "Google and Apple can unilaterally modify contracts with developers, which is unacceptable", Le Maire told the RTL broadcaster.

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Le Maire will file the suit before the Paris Commercial Court and thinks the resulting fines could add up to "several million euros".

The findings of a similar probe into Inc. past year are being reviewed by a tribunal, Le Maire's office said.

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