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Several clauses have been found by the ministry to be in breach on French law, by creating a significant imbalance at the expense of developers, causing harm to them but also to the economy as a whole.

What are your thoughts on the French government taking Apple and Google to court over misusing developers with "abusive and commercial practices"?

The fraud office urged in its report fines of two million euros ($2.5 million) for each company, the ministry source said, though Le Maire said only that they would be "in the millions of euros".

"I learned that when developers develop their applications, and sell to Google and Apple, their prices are imposed, Google and Apple take all their data, Google and Apple can unilaterally rewrite their contracts", the Minister said, adding Google and Apple's actions are unacceptable, and that these tech giants shouldn't be allowed to "treat our [French] startups and developers the way they do". If the court agrees with the government and regulator, Apple and Google could be forced to pay up to $2.5 million in fines.


Le Maire, who was appointed last year to his position by President Emmanuel Macron, has been targeting American technology giants in his first year in office.

A representative for Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.

In 2013, French authorities raided Apple's stores and distributors in France in a probe into the Cupertino tech giant's resale practices.

Le Maire added in a statement to Bloomberg that fines could be in the millions of euros. Le Maire has always been a critic of tech firms, calling for the taxation of tech companies revenue rather than their profit and has argued that these tech firms use loopholes and safe havens to pay very little tax in countries that they're based in. "My responsibility is to ensure economic law and order", said Le Maire.


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