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Apple and Google Respond to Accusations made by France's Finance Minister about their Business Practices

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Yesterday Patently Apple posted a report titled "With the Threat of U.S. Tariffs aimed at Europe, France prepares to sue Apple and Google for the sake of 'Justice'" France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire stated yesterday that "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. Le Maire further noted that start-ups face conditions imposed on them when selling their apps on Google and Apple which 'also gather data' and 'both can unilaterally modify contracts.' The minister added that the situation was simply unacceptable. "I consider that Google and Apple, as powerful as they are, shouldn't treat our start-ups and our developers in the way they do today."


Today we're learning from a French news site that "Apple retorted to the minister by highlighting the company's "strong relationships with tens of thousands of developers across France, who earned 1 billion euros on the App Store".


The report noted that Apple and Google actually set a pay scale, which is the same for everyone. Developers receive 70% of the revenue generated by the purchase of an application, 85% in the case of a subscription to a service, and the platform pockets the balance.


France's Finance Minister is making the accusation or case that French developers are being charged a "tariff" which is a hot button topic of the day. Yet there isn't any  special "tariff" on French developers as the French Minister is insinuating.  Is making a small profit a crime in France? Well, if you're an American company it is.


The Minister noted that "They are particularly criticized for being able to decide whether to suspend or remove an application." Imagine that, a company, like the government, sets up rules to protect consumers and the French Minister views this as some kind of evil practice. 


First Reactions from Google and Apple


The report noted that "Google was quick to react, through a formal and unambiguous statement: With more than 1000 downloads per second, Google Play is a great way for application developers in Europe, of all sizes, many of them in France , to offer their applications to users around the world. We have collaborated with the DGCCRF on many topics in recent years, including on Google Play. We believe that our conditions are in accordance with French legislation and we are ready to explain our position in the courts."


The report further noted that "On the other hand, Apple has chosen to highlight the strengths of its application store for the ecosystem. We are proud to have strong relationships with tens of thousands of developers across France, who have earned 1 billion euros on the App Store. Many of these talented developers founded their companies with one or two people and then saw their teams grow up to offer their applications to users in 155 countries. This was only possible thanks to Apple's investment in IOS, development tools and the APP Store. Apple has always defended the confidentiality and security of users and does not have access to user transactions with third-party applications. We are fully prepared to share our history in the French courts and to clarify this misunderstanding. In the meantime, we will continue to help French developers realize their dreams and support French students in their learning of the code through our coding program."


For more on this, read the full report from France's Le Figaro


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