Legal

France Is Suing Google, Apple Over Their Dealings With Startups, Developers

Google and Apple are facing a lawsuit from France, which is seeking fines of $2.5 million for what the country says are “abusive” contract terms when dealing with startups and developers.

According to news from Reuters, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told RTL radio that he learned Google and Apple made price and contract changes on developers that sell software in Google Play and the App Store. As a result of those changes, Le Maire said he’s going to court.

“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.”

Le Maire said he believes the European Union will close tax loopholes that favor the likes of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon as of the beginning of next year. As for the lawsuit, Google spokeswoman  Mathilde Mechin told Reuters, “We believe our terms comply with French laws and are looking forward to making our case in court.” An Apple spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

While Google and Apple will have to defend their practices in a French court, in the U.S., Google, along with social media giant Facebook, is taking on the government and its rescinding of net neutrality rules. Internet Association (IA), a lobbying group that represents the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix, is joining a lawsuit against the Federal Communication Commission’s move to get rid of net neutrality.

According to a recent report in The New York Post, Internet Association is joining an existing lawsuit fighting the December vote to rescind net neutrality, which would, in essence, deregulate the internet. Michael Beckerman, the head of Internet Association, said in the report that rescinding the law “defies the will of a bipartisan majority of Americans and fails to preserve a free and open internet.” IA is filing an amicus brief in an existing lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and others who are willing to take legal action to prevent the changes.

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