Tech giants Google and Apple will soon be brought to court by the French Minister of Finance for “abusive” contractual terms.
Reuters reported that Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have shown up on France’s radar for misconduct in negotiations and contracts with startups and developers. Bruno Le Maire, the country’s Minister of Finance, has stated that both companies had taken advantage of their status and power in the industry to impose prices and changes on partners that wanted to sell software on Google Play and App Store.
“As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they currently do,” Le Maire stated. For abusive trade practices, the companies could be forced to pay fines that add up to 2 million euros ($2.5 million).
While the lawsuit or money itself won’t an end all be all for the companies, it could bring about a dent in their public image and a blow to their reputations. For now, Apple has made no comments on the matter and Google has released the following statement: “We believe our terms comply with French laws and are looking forward to making our case in court.”
France is also expecting to see the European Union close tax loopholes that used to favor Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon by 2019.