France Accuses Apple of Abusive Contracts, Will Sue Company

France Accuses Apple of Abusive Contracts, Will Sue Company

France will take legal action against Google and Apple for "abusive business practices", Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday.

Le Maire added in a statement to Bloomberg that fines could be in the millions of euros.

"We want to be able to tax the giant tech companies in Europe starting in 2019", said Le Maire. "They can't treat our start-ups and developers the way they do".

The fraud office's investigation is not the first investigation in France to probe American tech giants.

Spokespeople for Apple France and Google France did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The European Union has vowed countermeasures on products such as peanut butter if the bloc is not exempted from the USA measures, which may take effect next week. France's competition authority examined Facebook and Google's positions in the French online advertising market, determining that both companies should be investigated for what president of the French competition body, Isabelle de Silva, called an "overwhelmingly dominant position" in the market. 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. Also, there have been significant imbalances between in the relationship between the two companies and developers who sold via their application stores.

The findings of a similar probe into Amazon.com Inc. previous year are being reviewed by a tribunal, Le Maire's office said.

The fines could be in the millions of euros.