France to sue Apple, Google over developer contracts

“France will take Google and Apple to court over contractual terms imposed by the tech giants on startups and developers, said Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire,” Laurence Frost and Julie Carriat report for Reuters.

“Speaking on RTL radio, Le Maire said on Wednesday he had become aware that Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. unilaterally imposed prices and other contractual terms on software developers.,” Frost and Carriat report. “‘I will therefore be taking Google and Apple to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices,’ Le Maire said. ‘As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they currently do.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple and Google own their stores. They have the right to set terms as they see fit. If the terms were too onerous, developers would not participate in them. This is not the case; quite the opposite, in fact.

For Le Maire in particular and France in general, the question is obvious:

Why don’t you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough. ― Frédéric Bastiat


    1. If Apple wants to do business in France, then it must abide by the laws of that country. The same applies to foreign companies wanting to do business in the U.S.

      You may think that some of their laws are flawed or misguided or onerous, and they may feel the same about those of your country. And both of you would probably be correct, because every country has crappy laws. What we need to do as a world economy is gradually evolve the rules to best fit international trade and commerce, and reach compromises where there are material differences.

      Some European laws, such as RoHS, have changed product design and materials across the world to protect the environment, and I doubt that most U.S. citizens are even aware of that fact. In the U.S., California laws on fuel economy and emissions control set a higher bar that drove vehicle design for the entire country, and disproved the oft cited claims that it wasn’t possible to achieve substantially higher fuel economy and lower emissions while maintaining or even improving vehicle safety — but it was possible and it did happen.

      Do not be too quick to scoff at the laws of others. You can find plenty of laws to disparage much closer to home.

        1. With a more modern constitution informed by the US model and tested regularly by both foreign and domestic authoritarians, France now arguably has some of the most refined legal foundations of any nation. The red tape is thick at times but the legal precedence is well developed.

          Unfortunately, as a post colonial power the size of Texas with aging population and much aged/historical infrastructure, they receive no respect in this era where digital info wars, military bluster, populist rhetoric, and sheer corrupt monetary forces are considered key signals of national health. The US, on its current path, is well behind in quality of life, average education, and health. Priorities differ, results cannot be disputed. I would rather see democracy work for the people than for the foreign corporation. Remember the US is not the world.

  1. I wonder if they’re talking about pricing tiers. (e.g. 0.99, 1.99, etc.) I could see their case against Apple being a bit stronger since there is no other store to acquire iOS Apps unless you jailbreak in contrast to Android’s selection of App stores (with varying levels of safety) each with their own pricing policies for developers.

  2. If french developers get more money from Apple/Google Then French govt. can take more money in taxes. In the end French devs will pocket about the same amount of money. I see what you did there France. 😉

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