Apple has responded to the French government’s plans to take it to court over what French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire calls its “abusive trade practices.”
While the French government is critical of Apple for taking a non-negotiable cut of the profits from developers who use its App Store platform, Apple has taken the opportunity to remind everyone of just how good its “app economy” has been for many devs.
“We are proud to have strong relationships with tens of thousands of developers across France, who have earned 1 billion euros on the App Store,” Apple said, in a statement reported by Le Figaro. “Many of these talented developers founded their companies with one or two people and then saw their teams grow up to offer their applications to users in 155 countries. This was only possible thanks to Apple’s investment in iOS, development tools and the App Store.”
Apple goes on to argue that it has always defended the security of users, and does not have access to user transactions using third-party apps: another complaint that has reportedly been levelled at the company.
“We are fully prepared to share our history in the French courts and to clarify this misunderstanding,” Apple continued. “In the meantime, we will continue to help French developers realize their dreams and support French students in their learning of the code through our coding program.”
Although Apple does not mention it in its statement (unless the “security of users” is a veiled reference), Le Figaro says that the French government is also unhappy at the fact that Apple has the power to suspend or remove some apps from the App Store.
Google was named, too
Google was the other tech company named by Bruno Le Maire as being targeted by the French government. Like Apple, Google released a statement:
“With more than 1000 downloads per second, Google Play is a great way for application developers in Europe, of all sizes, many of them in France , to offer their applications to users around the world. We have collaborated with the DGCCRF on many topics in recent years, including on Google Play. We believe that our conditions are in accordance with French legislation and we are ready to explain our position in the courts.”
The trouble with tariffs
It’s not entirely clear what triggered France lashing out at Apple and Google, although both companies taking a cut from developers is being cast as part of a larger hot-button topic about American “tariffs” (although the two things aren’t really the same.)
Nonetheless, tech giants like Apple are facing a lot of scrutiny in Europe. In August 2016, the EU — of which France is a powerful member — handed Apple a 13 billion euros ($15.5 billion) tax bill, claiming that the company took advantage of illegal state aid that allowed it to route profits through Ireland.
The investigation alleged that Apple paid the equivalent of as little as 0.005 percent on all European profits in 2014. Earlier in 2018, Bruno Le Maire additionally suggested that the EU plans to tax tech multinationals up to 6 percent of their global revenue.
Source: Le Figaro
Via: Patently Apple