France to Sue Apple, Google for 'Abusive Trade Practices'

Google's logo and Apple's logo

French President Emmanuel Macron attends an global meeting in Paris, France, December 8, 2017.

"We will take Google and Apple to the court for abusive business practices", he tweeted.

The French government said Wednesday that it would take legal action against Google and Apple over "abusive business practices", threatening fines that could further strain transatlantic ties as a trade war looms.

Tech start-ups are a favourite of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has sought to overhaul the nation's laws and regulations to allow entrepreneurs to flourish.

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French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire commented on the case during a French radio show saying "No matter how powerful Google and Apple may be, they can not treat our start-ups and developers the way they do today". He said start-ups face conditions imposed on them when selling their apps on Google and Apple which "also gather data" and "both can unilaterally modify contracts". French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire is set to speak with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross about the U.S. tax plan and is expected to call for an exemption for countries in the EU. These targeted companies and individuals making software for the App Store and Google Play. As Bloomberg reported, Le Maire spoke to RTL radio.

"We're expecting a lot from this suit, and we're not the only ones". Earlier this year, French regulators launched an investigation into the firm's "deliberate" slowing down of older iPhones.

Mr Le Maire said the action could result in fines of millions of euros for both firms.

The proposal was aimed at tech giants, like Google and Facebook, with revenues above 750 million euros ($928 million) worldwide and with digital revenues in the European Union of at least 10 million euros in a tax year.

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