JVTech News France spits out 1 million euros from Apple, we tell you everything
Apple is surely the most powerful company in the world. At least, it is by far the most listed on the stock exchange. The American giant is overpowered and often does only a little as it pleases. This boils other big boxes (we remember the clash with Epic or Elon Musk’s tweets), but also… States! The French Minister of the Economy has just seen his complaint succeed and Apple must pay 1 million euros to France.
The App Store: France and the whole world want to serve Apple
Apple is a tech company apart, and it is often lectured by those who want to see it join the ranks. You provided in mind the story of the Lightning cable which, thanks to a European law, is living its (its?) last years in favor of universal USB-C charging. The Lightning cable is just one subject among others! The most burning of all can be written in two words: App Store.
There are approximately 2 billion iPhones in circulation worldwide. All iPhones are housed in the same boat: to download any application, you have to go through the App Store. Each purchase or micro-transaction made from an iPhone therefore brings money to Apple, and not just a little. The apple takes no less than 30% of the money spent from its store (and 15% for companies that generate less than 1 million per year).
It is already because of this particular situation that Epic Games and Apple have become embroiled in a legal war. Epic believes that the Cupertino company is abusing its dominant, almost monopolistic position, and taxing developers too much. For the publisher of Fortnite, Apple imposes its prices and leaves no choice: it’s either you tolerate or you are not on the App Store (so in about 2 billion people).
Bruno Le Maire, already French Minister of Economy and Finance in 2017, makes the same observation. He then sued Apple. Guess what ? It is at the end of 2022, 5 years later, that this complaint finally succeeded.
Soon big changes at Apple, but France alone has nothing to do with it
In this case, the Paris Commercial Court recognizes a “significant legal and economic insecurity” and one “significant imbalance” which distorts (re)negotiations of contracts with developers. The sanction has fallen and Apple will have to:
- Comply with the requirements of Bruno Le Maire on 6 of his 11 criticisms of the brand. The victory is not total, the court for example judged the 30% commission “not excessive manifestation”.
- Pay a fine of more than 1 million euros to France.
- Publicize this decision of justice in 3 national dailies: Les Echos, Le Figaro, and Le Monde. If these publications are not made within 8 days, Apple will pay €10,000 per day of delay.
Apple is bound hand and foot by Europe. In the example of the Lightning cable taken at the beginning of the article, it was already the EU that pinched the American titan. The laws dictated by the European Parliament are relatively radical and Apple will have to comply with them or risk no longer being able to market its products on the huge market that represents the old continent. Do not have any illusions, if Bruno Le Maire wins his case today, it is less thanks to the weight of France than thanks to the influence of two European texts: The Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act.
Apple, Google, and the whole industry will have to open their systems shortly. Thanks to these laws, it should soon be possible to use the Google Play Store on iOS (yes, it’s crazy) but also to link your messengers together like WhatsApp, Messenger… or iMessage. The developers of the Cupertino company should already be working on all these beautiful things.