PARIS, April 11 France plans to ask the European
Commission for tighter regulation of Internet companies
following Apple's decision to remove a French-designed app from
its App Store.
Last Friday, Apple banned AppGratis - which lets
users discover applications for free - for not respecting its
guidelines. AppGratis says it has 12 million users worldwide and
generated 2012 revenue of 9 million euros.
During a visit to AppGratis publisher iMediapp, French
junior minister for digital economy Fleur Pellerin called
Apple's decision "extremely brutal and unilateral....
"This behaviour is not worthy of a company of this size,"
She added that certain Internet companies were guilty of
"repeated abusive behaviour" and said she would ask the European
Commission and EU member states to better regulate digital
platforms, search engines and social media.
In an email to Reuters, Apple said it had had a discussion
with AppGratis before removing it from its platform and that the
company had disregarded its technical specifications.
France regularly confronts foreign Internet giants and is
studying ways of curbing legal tax avoidance by the larger
In February, Google agreed to pay 60 million euros
($82 million) into a special fund to help French media develop
their presence on the Internet as an alternative to paying
French media for posting links to their content.
French publishers had been pushing for Google to pay them
licensing fees for listing headlines and snippets of articles in
its search engine results.
French President Francois Hollande had threatened to draft
legislation to force Google to pay French media for posting
links to their content if no deal was signed, and during the
talks Google was hit with a tax audit over its practice of
charging French advertisers via its European headquarters in