Tech rivals Google and Apple will come together in an unexpected (and very unpleasant way) sooner than you’d expect. Both tech companies are being dragged 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’ 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 added. For abusive trade practices, the companies could be forced to pay fines that add up to 2 million euros ($2.5 million).
The money itself won’t be their coup de grâce. Instead, the lawsuit will bring about a dent in their public image and the blow to their reputation is what should worry them. For now, Apple has made no comments on the matter and Google has released a deceptively chill response: “We believe our terms comply with French laws and are looking forward to making our case in court”
At this rate, France is expecting to see the European Union close tax loopholes that used to favor Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. It won’t happen slowly, either; in fact, we might seen that happen by 2019.