Application stores: Apple fined one million euros in France

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”. .

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According to the judgment rendered on Monday and of which AFP was aware, the commercial court retained the “significant imbalance” and “significant legal and economic insecurity” born 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.

Against the backdrop of European regulations

On the other hand, he dismissed five grievances out of eleven, in particular on the exclusivity of the payment system or on the commission rate (30%), “obviously not excessive and (which) is very often found in commerce 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”.

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

Read also: The EU rushes on the taxation of multinationals

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 the commissions they impose on developers around the world, the two American giants, publishers of the 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: Apple implements tools to better protect customer data

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