Mobile applications: Apple defends itself against Bercy

The American giant Apple defended, on Friday, September 23, before the Commercial Court of Paris that it imposed unbalanced conditions on the developers registered in its application magazine, in a conflict that the French government opposes, plus cinq ans. The court delivers its sentence on December 19.

The procedure is the subject of an investigation launched in 2015 by the Direction de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) into the commercial contract clauses that app developers charge Google and Apple. In March 2018, in the midst of tensions with the United States of Donald Trump, who wanted to tax steel and aluminum imports, the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire revealed that an accusation had been presented against the two American giants for “abusive”. business practices”.

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Apple and Google accused of ‘imposing tariffs’

Apple and Google are accused by Bercy of “imposing tariffs” on French startups that want to sell their applications on their platforms, recovering their data and “modifying contracts unilaterally”. Bercy his reproach also to “predict commissions on the transactions” was made in the applications “up to 30%”. , the procedure intended for Apple longer. Après avoir tenté, sans succès, de renvoyer des questions prioritaires de constitutionalality, a marque à la pomme a déposé vendredi à titre subsidiaire 16 prejudicial questions.

Sur le fund du dossier, the avocats d’Apple ont argued that the loi française was not applicable to the judge of the unbalanced nature of the contract clauses and that the application developers were not all business partners. It is more generally criticized an “abstract action” that targets non-identifying developers.

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The representatives of Bercy ont, for their part, denounced the dilatory maneuvers and insisted on “the seriousness of the practices” of Apple that would constitute “a trouble à l’ordre public”. The two American giants, publishers of Android and iOS mobile operating systems, have been engaged for months in a battle to justify the commissions they impose on developers worldwide. Under pressure, they began to change their practices, reducing their commission for small developers and subscriptions. Google also announced at the end of July an important concession that authorizes the existence of alternatives to its payment system, as it foresees the future European regulation of digital markets.

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