France sues Apple over App Store developer contracts

A spokesperson for the French finance ministry’s consumer fraud watchdog told Reuters that France is suing Apple over allegedly abusive contractual terms imposed on developers and startups that seek to sell their apps on the tech giant’s App Store.

Apple App Store
Apple’s App Store

Mathieu Rosemain for Reuters:

The lawsuit comes after a three-year probe by the DGCCRF watchdog, which comes under the remit of Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who ordered the investigation.

France’s leading startup lobby France Digitale has joined the case, according to a court document seen by Reuters.

The case will be heard at Paris’ commercial court on Sept. 17.

MacDailyNews Take: “Abusive?” Puleeze.

The amount by which Apple Inc. has driven down software prices across the board, on every major computing platform, makes legal actions such as this eminently laughable. — MacDailyNews, May 14, 2019

Apple and their App Store provides developers with a safe, secure, highly lucrative distribution method to the richest personal computer, smartphone, and tablet demographics ever assembled.

Apple built the Mac. Apple built the iPhone. Apple built the iPad. Apple built the App Store. Apple created the most verdant ecosystem ever created for developers by far. Only the losers and those developers who can’t read and follow simple rules are whining incessantly.

If anything, Apple takes too little of a cut for all that the App Store provides developers.MacDailyNews, July 28, 2020

By the way, 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?MacDailyNews, May 5, 2021

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

10 Comments

    1. But they are not. They can make apps for other phones, devices, or computers. They have the right to make their own phones as well. Hey, but if they want to work on Apple devices, they have to follow Apple guidelines. No different than other product manufacturers.
      Let’s call a spade a spade because we all know what this is about. Money and governments trying to figure out how to get more of the pie.

      1. They have to follow Apple’s rules in Apple’s Store. They should be able to peddle their wares in any number of other stores and follow those rules. Including their own.

        1. By that account, a manufacturer can never make a closed eco system again. Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo should all be open platforms too. Also, Apple has only 28% OS market share of mobile phones in Europe. They have heavy competition from the Android platform with so many manufacturers. So Apple would be forced to open their platform and remove their competitive playing field? What if tomorrow Microsoft introduces a new Windows Phone and that gains 10 percent market share, and Apple market share dwindles to 20%? Is Apple still bound to offer an open platform? Every platform that offers a market place could be seen as abusive. Amazon Kindle anyone? But then again, no one is forced to enter a closed market place in the first place. No one is forced to make apps for iOS, or offer books on Amazon Kindle. It’s your choice. The only other way for Apple to open up iOS is to go the Mac route. No second app store, but side-loading possible, with provisions of strict signing certificates.

          1. Just to be clear, I am saying above that creating closed platforms should be up to the manufacturers. I find it not logical to force Apple, or Sony, or Nintendo, or Microsoft to open up their (game) platforms. The choice to create software or games for those closed platforms is voluntary. If you find the terms abusive, go create for open platforms instead. That said, Apple could relax the fees next year across the board. Apple should have done so, like Phil Shiller suggested in an email to Tim Cook, a long time ago. He said Apple should lower fees in a sign of strength. Be first, was his goal. Get praise. But now if Apple lowers fees it will be a sign of weakness. They are too late to come out of this with praise. Thus it is unlikely Apple will lower fees any time soon.

          2. Xbox has proprietary media covered by patent (most likely), and you can buy it from several stores and sources. Buy you know what? You have a point, let iOS be classified as a gaming system, or force gaming systems to open up.

  1. And “your argument falls apart” because what has happened in the mobile industry is NOT the fault of Apple, but a choice by consumers.
    There are more than just two mobile OS’s in the world and I suspect there will be more competition over time. However, the main reason Apple has succeeded is because of “consumer choice” and not developers “wants”.
    Consumers have chosen what they feel is the best devices for whatever reason. The free market has spoken and they clearly want devices that works, that does the best job of protecting their privacy and feel it satisfies their needs. They have a choice and they have chosen.
    You don’t like it, fine, you have a choice as well as a developer. Exercise your own freedom of choice and stop trying to force consumers into your way of thinking. End of story!

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