France to Sue Google, Apple Over 'Abusive Trade Practices' - Economy Minister

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Le Maire also said he expected the European Union to close tax loopholes that benefit Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon by the start of 2019.

According to le Maire, Apple and Google should not take advantage of French startups the way they are doing right now. the legal action is said to take place in the Paris commercial court.

"As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they now do".

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The French economy ministry is seeking to fine Amazon 10 million euros ($12.4 billion), according to media reports. "They can't treat our startups and developers the way they do".

Once the operation was discovered, Le Maire took the ministry's fraud office into investigation and found out that there were some "significant imbalances" in the relationship between the two parties. Le Maire has always been a critic of tech firms, calling for the taxation of tech companies revenue rather than their profit and has argued that these tech firms use loopholes and safe havens to pay very little tax in countries that they're based in.

Google spokeswoman Mathilde Mechin said: "We believe our terms comply with French laws and are looking forward to making our case in court". They've cited the quality of candidates as the main reason for setting up labs in and around Paris on themes from artificial intelligence to delivery drones. "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. The findings of a similar inquiry into Amazon past year are being reviewed by a tribunal, his office said.

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