The French government said on Wednesday it would take legal action against Google and Apple over “abusive business practices.” The move could reportedly result in fines of “several million euro.”
“I believe in an economy based on justice and I will take Google and Apple before the Paris Commercial Court for abusive business practices” against French start-ups, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on RTL radio.
He explained that Alphabet’s Google and Apple unilaterally imposed prices and other contractual terms on software developers. “As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they currently do,” said Le Maire.
He added it is unacceptable that both companies could also gather data from the developers and “unilaterally modify contracts.”
The fraud office urged in its report fines of €2 million ($ 2.5 million) for each company, the ministry source said.
Paris has lately been taking a tougher stance on American multinationals working inside the European Union, forcing them to pay an appropriate amount of tax.
Last year, the European Commission accused one of the McDonald’s units of not paying tax in Luxembourg since 2009 despite large profits there. The fast food giant said it would move its non-US tax base from Luxembourg to Britain due to the increased scrutiny over its tax arrangements.
In 2016, the regulator ruled that Apple owed Ireland €13 billion in back taxes covering a 10-year period.
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