France to take legal action against Google, Apple for ‘abusive’ practices

The French government’s action against Apple and Google could result in penalties reaching several million euros. (AFP)
Updated 14 March 2018
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France to take legal action against Google, Apple for ‘abusive’ practices

PARIS: France will take legal action against Google and Apple for “abusive business practices,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday as transatlantic ties threaten to be riven by a trade war.
“I believe in an economy based on justice and I will take Google and Apple before the Paris Commercial Court for abusive business practices” against French start-ups, Le Maire said on RTL radio.
He said 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 said the situation is unacceptable.
“I consider that Google and Apple, as powerful as they are, shouldn’t treat our start-ups and our developers in the way they do today,” said Le Maire.
The action against the firms comes as US President Donald Trump has moved toward imposing a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and 10-percent tariff on imports of aluminum.
It is unclear if European nations will obtain waivers, with Trump having singled out the EU as treating the United States badly in trade ties and threatening to tax cars as well.
Le Maire has previously threatened to tax the two firms based on their sales in France, denouncing the legal strategies they use to pay taxes at lower rates in other EU countries.
He added the current action could result in penalties reaching several million euros.
“My responsibility is to ensure economic law and order,” said Le Maire. “There are rules. There is justice. It should be respected.”
Tech start-ups are a favorite of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has sought to overhaul the nation’s laws and regulations to allow entrepreneurs to flourish.


US Energy Secretary discussed Iran sanctions with Iraqi officials

Updated 8 min 7 sec ago
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US Energy Secretary discussed Iran sanctions with Iraqi officials

  • Perry spoke at a Baghdad hotel where he was attending a US chamber of commerce event alongside Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban
  • The United States has restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry as well as its banking and transport industry

BAGHDAD: US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday he had discussed his country’s sanctions against Iran with Iraqi energy officials and signalled an intention to step up US private sector investment in Iraq.
Perry spoke at a Baghdad hotel where he was attending a US chamber of commerce event alongside Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban.
The United States has restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry as well as its banking and transport industry.
Baghdad, an ally of both Washington and Tehran, is seeking US approval to allow it to import Iranian gas for its power stations.
Iraqi officials say they need more time to find an alternative source than a 45-day waiver granted to it by the United States.
“Sanctions were mentioned in meetings this morning,” Perry said without providing details.
He added that his attendance was sending a strong message of US commitment to Iraq’s economy and energy sector and that he recognized the challenges faced by Iraq’s government when it comes to rebuilding oil infrastructure destroyed during the war against Daesh militants.
“This is a different administration that will move with speed to develop an energy sector that best serves the citizens of Iraq,” Perry said of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s new government.