Apple fined one million euros in France

Apple was sentenced Monday, December 19 by the Paris Commercial Court to a fine of one million euros for having imposed unbalanced conditions on mobile application developers. The large American group (90 billion dollars in revenue from July to September) was the subject of a complaint filed in 2017 on behalf of the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, and revealed by him the following year. , at a time when Donald Trump’s United States wanted to tax steel and aluminum imports.

Bercy accused Apple and Google, which dominate the global mobile application ecosystem, of“to impose tariffs” to French start-ups wishing to sell their applications on their platforms, recover their data and be able to unilaterally modifying contracts. According to the judgment of which Agence France-Presse (AFP) was informed, the commercial court upheld the “significant imbalance” and “significant legal and economic insecurity”, born in particular from the impossibility for developers to renegotiate the terms of the contract with Apple or to contest the suspension of an application.

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On the other hand, it rejected five eleven grievances, in particular on the exclusivity of the payment system or on the commission rate (30%), “manifestation not excessive and [qui] is found very frequently in commerce whether online or physical”. The court also did not ask for changes to certain disputed clauses and referred to the European regulation on digital markets (DMA) voted in October, which “to impose from now on, everywhere in Europe, on Apple a rebalancing of the clauses in favor of the developers”.

“Apple believes in dynamic and competitive markets where innovation can flourish. (…) We will review this decision carefully and continue our efforts to support developers and provide a safe user experience.”, Apple responded Monday in a statement to AFP. Google was sentenced in March to a fine of two million euros, and to modify seven clauses of its application distribution contract.

Under pressure to justify commissions they impose on developers around the world, the two American giants, publishers of operating systems for Android and iOS mobiles, have cut their commission for small developers and subscriptions in half and authorized more flexibility in pricing applications. Enforcing DMA could also force Apple to allow the use of an alternative app store to the App Store and third-party payment systems within apps.

Read also: Google will have to pay a fine of 4.1 billion euros to European justice for non-compliance with competition

The World with AFP

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