March 14, 2018 / 7:04 AM / 9 months ago

France to sue Google, Apple over developer contracts - minister

PARIS, March 14 (Reuters) - France will take Google and Apple to court over contractual terms imposed by the tech giants on startups and developers, said Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Speaking on RTL radio, Le Maire said on Wednesday he had become aware that Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. unilaterally imposed prices and other contractual terms on software developers.

“I will therefore be taking Google and Apple to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices,” Le Maire said.

“As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they currently do.”

Spokespeople for Apple France and Google France did not immediately respond to calls and messages from Reuters seeking comment.

Le Maire also said he expected the European Union to close tax loopholes that benefit Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon by the start of 2019. Brussels is currently examining measures to improve the taxation of overseas tech giants’ online business in European markets. (Reporting by Laurence Frost and Julie Carriat; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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