With the Threat of U.S. Tariffs aimed at Europe, France prepares to sue Apple and Google for the sake of 'Justice'
According to France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that his country will take legal action against Apple and Google for 'abusive business practices.' Le Maire said on RTL radio: "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."
Tech start-ups are a favorite of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has sought to overhaul the nation's laws and regulations to allow entrepreneurs to flourish. "My responsibility is to ensure economic law and order," said Le Maire. "There are rules. There is justice. It should be respected."
Beyond it being an abusive money grab, the report noted that with Trump having singled out the EU as treating the United States badly in trade ties and threatening to tax European cars and impose tariffs on steel and aluminum, there isn't much doubt that Macron is sending out his Finance Minister to rattle the market with a threatening retaliatory message.
Yet let us not forget that this has been brewing for some time and the possible tarriff war is simply a convenient moment for the French Government. Back in October the French President read Apple's CEO the riot act on the issue of taxes.
In the bigger picture, any country that is in the tariff cross-hairs of the U.S. administration is likely to counter by hitting popular U.S. economic targets like Apple and Google.
We may even hear China retaliate against Apple, even though Tim Cook supports China's President Xi Jinping's closed internet policies and recently handed over their keys to iCloud to the Chinese. While it's highly unlikely that Apple will be spared, only time will tell how this may play out. So stay tuned.
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