France’s Le Maire criticizes Apple’s ‘market dominance’ in EU

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire criticized the European marketplace dominance of foreign firms, including U.S. tech firm Apple’s power in the digital arena and calling for the creation of more “European champions.”

Apple Park in Cupertino, California
Apple Park in Cupertino, California

Samuel Stolton for EURACTIV:

The French finance minister cited Apple’s business operations as a particular area that has been bad for competitiveness in Europe. “Apple’s market capitalisation is now larger than the capitalisation of all the CAC 40,” he said, referring to the benchmark French stock market index.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like the CAC 40’s problem, not Apple’s.

It also sounds like the 35-hour workweek isn’t cutting it. Why don’t you shoot for a 30-hour workweek so that Apple’s market cap will exceed France’s GDP itself, génie?

“It is a competition issue when these companies develop strategies to lock in their users in their services and ecosystems,” Le Maire added, in a veiled reference to Apple’s app store operations, which has long been a source of frustration for Apple’s rival firms and for smaller companies seeking greater visibility on the platform. In June, the European Commission opened a formal antitrust probe into the app store to investigate whether Apple’s rules for the distribution of apps violate EU competition rules.

Swedish music streaming service Spotify has not held back on the criticism of the operation of the app store, complaining that Apple had been restricting rivals to its own music service, and hitting out at the high fees imposed on app developers.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s a question: How much did it cost developers to have their applications burned onto CDs, boxed, shipped, and displayed on store shelves prior to Apple remaking the world for the better for umpteenth time?

There is a concern in the EU that some of the bloc’s smaller and innovative firms, which have lost market value due to the coronavirus outbreak, may be acquired by larger international companies. “We should not wait for all European companies to be overtaken by foreign giants to react,” Le Maire said on Tuesday. “This regulation would specifically target digital platforms that had acquired dominant positions on the market with significant network effects and acting as gatekeepers, it would prevent locking in, and predatory strategies with tailor-made and proportionate measures.”

MacDailyNews Take: As per Le Maire’s “marketplace dominance of Apple” hallucination, we present actual facts:

Mobile Operating System Market Share France, August 2020
• Android: 71.55%
• iOS: 27.99%
Source: StatCounter

Mobile Operating System Market Share Europe, August 2020
• Android: 73.18%
• iOS: 26.39%
Source: StatCounter


    1. Yeah. Apple has some good arguments, but the “before App Store it was only CDs on store shelves” argument is the most transparently dumb.

      Not sure why MDN picked that one to repeat.

  1. Oh my. France is just being its recent, post-WWII self: Defensively nose in the air; pinky in the air. It passed legislation to protect its monopoly on French words in France by prohibiting the use of English and other foreign words in order to keep the French language pure in its walled garden.

    But to be fair, to wit: “The French language has difficulty keeping up with the changes in the scientific community because technical vocabulary has evolved in English.” “Historically, France was a great power. Since World War II, it has struggled to regain recognition on the European continent. Meanwhile, the U.S. emerged from World War II as a superpower. This role reversal affects France’s pride and has the French government concerned with losing its national identity.”

    1. You really know nothing about France or, more to the point, the French. In any event, this argument is not just a French one – the German government has said exactly the same thing, as has the EU, as has the UK government – which is why it is seeking to tax American technology companies that engage in aggressive tax avoidance.

      And Americans are obsessed with WWII, as if everything is to be judged from that reference point. It wouldn’t be so bad if the United States had shown competence in its own recent military endeavours, in defending its major cities from terrorist attacks or was demonstrating effective world leadership.

      Stop watching Ratatouille and live in 2020.

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