France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday in a radio interview that French software developers who create applications for either Google Play Store or Apple App Store have seen unilaterally imposed prices and changes to their contracts by the Silicon Valley giants. "All that is unacceptable and it's not the economy that we want", Le Maire said. "They can't treat our startups and developers the way they do".
France is preparing to slap American tech giants Apple and Google with hefty fines as a result of "abusive business practices" according to reports.
Le Maire reportedly said that there were "significant imbalances" in contractual relationships between the two companies and their developer customers.
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Bruno Le Maire expected the Paris commercial court to impose sanctions that would likely cost Google and Apple millions of euros.
Apple declined to comment immediately on Le Maire's claims, but Google said its business practices "conformed to French law".
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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 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.
France was already pursuing Apple, Google and other United States technology giants over the legal strategies that let them route their income from across the European Union through low-tax nations.
The findings of a similar probe into Amazon.com Inc. previous year are being reviewed by a tribunal, Le Maire's office said.
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