Apple fined one million euros in France

On December 19, Apple was fined one million euros. The Paris Commercial Court points in particular to the imbalance imposed by the giant on application developers.

Apple was fined 1 million euros by the Paris Commercial Court on Monday for imposing unbalanced conditions on mobile app developers, and will have to change its practices to comply with new European regulations.

The American giant (90 billion dollars in revenue from July to September) was the target 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 the 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 “imposing tariffs” on French start-ups wishing to sell their applications on their platforms, of recovering their data and of being able to “unilaterally modify contracts”. .

According to the judgment of which AFP was aware, the commercial court upheld the “significant imbalance” and “significant legal and economic insecurity” arising in particular from the impossibility for the developers to renegotiate the terms of the contract with Apple or to challenge the suspension of an application.

On the other hand, he dismissed 5 complaints out of 11, in particular on the exclusivity of the payment system or on the commission rate (30%), “obviously not excessive and (which) is found very frequently in the trade whether it is online or physical. The court also did not ask for changes to certain disputed clauses and referred to the European regulations on digital markets (DMA) voted in October, which “now imposes, everywhere in Europe, on Apple a rebalancing of the clauses in favor developers”.

Before the entry into force of the DMA

“Apple believes in dynamic and competitive markets where innovation can flourish. (…) We will consider this decision carefully and continue our efforts to support developers and provide a safe experience for users,” Apple responded on 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.

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