France drags Apple and Google to court

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According to le Maire, Apple and Google should not take advantage of French startups the way they are doing right now. the legal action is said to take place in the Paris commercial court.

Speaking on RTL radio on Wednesday, Le Maire accused Google and Apple of imposing tariffs on developers wishing to sell their apps to the internet giants.

The report noted statements by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire saying he had become aware that Alphabet Inc's Google and Apple unilaterally imposed prices and other contractual terms on software developers.

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

App developers, for example, were unable to negotiate the fees for having their products listed in Apple's App Store or Google Play. Le Parisien reported last December that the Finance Ministry is seeking to fine Amazon 10 million euros.

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Google spokeswoman Mathilde Mechin said: "We believe our terms comply with French laws and are looking forward to making our case in court".

An investigation by the ministry's fraud office determined that there "significant imbalances" in the relationship between the companies and developers between 2015 and 2017.

It is unclear if European nations will obtain waivers, especially after Trump singled out the EU as treating the USA "very badly" in trade ties and threatening to tax cars as well.

Le Maire reiterated that his government was working to establish worldwide rules obliging digital giants to pay taxes wherever they operate.

But European officials have said they will not be intimidated by Trump's protectionist moves, which have yet to be put into effect.