Apple has issued a statement defending against allegations made by France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire, who earlier this week accused the iPhone maker of treating French startups and developers unfairly.
In the statement, loosely translated from French to English, Apple said it has “strong relationships” with French developers, and added that they have collectively earned one billion euros in revenue from the App Store.
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. 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 has always defended the confidentiality and security of users and does not have access to user transactions with third-party applications. We are fully prepared to share our history in the French courts and to clarify this misunderstanding. 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.
Le Maire said France will be taking Apple and Google to court in Paris for “abusive trade practices.” In a radio interview, he mentioned that Apple and Google “take all their data” and “can unilaterally rewrite their contracts.”
“I learned that when developers develop their applications, and sell to Google and Apple, their prices are imposed, Google and Apple take all their data, Google and Apple can unilaterally rewrite their contracts,” Le Maire said in an interview with RTL radio. “All that is unacceptable and it’s not the economy that we want. They can’t treat our startups and developers the way they do.”
“I will therefore be taking Google and Apple to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices,” Le Maire said.
It’s not very clear what Le Maire is referring to exactly. It’s possible the bit about prices being “imposed” refers to the 30 percent cut that Apple and Google collect from sales of apps and in-app purchases, but his comments were vague.
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