France to sue Google, Apple over developer contracts: minister

PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Wednesday it will take Google and Apple to court and seek fines of 2 million euros ($2.5 million) over what it termed "abusive" contractual terms imposed by the tech giants on startups and developers.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told RTL radio he had been made aware that Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google unilaterally imposed prices and contract changes on developers selling software on Google Play and Apple's App Store.

"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."

France's DGCCRF consumer fraud watchdog confirmed in a subsequent statement that it had begun legal action against the U.S. technology groups.

Google spokeswoman Mathilde Mechin said: "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.

Le Maire also said he expected the European Union to close tax loopholes that benefit Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon by the start of 2019. Brussels is currently examining measures to improve the taxation of overseas tech giants' online business in European markets.

($1 = 0.8093 euros)

(Reporting by Laurence Frost and Julie Carriat; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

Must Read

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah each land a Showtime...

Aug 11, 2016

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will each star in their own half-hour comedy series for Showtime

Judge overturns conviction of nephew in 'Making a...

Aug 13, 2016

A judge has overturned the conviction of a Wisconsin man found guilty of helping his uncle kill a...

At 93, legendary climber Fred Beckey still...

Aug 13, 2016

Legendary Seattle climber Fred Beckey is the focus of a new documentary film about his life

Trump goes on tear against media, not Clinton

Aug 14, 2016

Trump campaign blames 'disgusting' press for a week of distractions at a time when Republicans...

Box Office Top 20: 'Sausage Party' scarfs up...

Aug 15, 2016

It was a feast for the raunchy animated comedy "Sausage Party" at the box office this weekend

Sign up now!