France issues legal challenge to ‘abusive commercial practices’ by Google, Apple

France will be taking legal action against Google owner Alphabet, and Apple with allegations that both tech giants have taken advantage of app developers with “abusive commercial practices.”

Speaking to RTL Radio on Wednesday, March 14, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire claimed that the two companies held all the cards in their relationships with app developers, and that they could rewrite the rules as they saw fit. He said “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. 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.”

Alphabet (Google) and Apple are the two major players in smartphone operating systems, with Android and iOS taking up almost all of the market between them. As such, they’re the only real game in town for mobile app developers. France’s Finance ministry conducted an investigation during the period of 2015 to 2017 that determined that “significant imbalances” existed between the developers and the tech companies, and if Le Maire’s comments are to be believed, then both companies could be on the hook for millions of euros as a result.

This isn’t France’s first tangle with tech companies. Following the revelation that Apple had been purposefully slowing down older iPhones to combat unexpected shutdowns, France launched an investigation into the possibility of planned obsolescence. Le Maire has also pushed to punish Amazon on similar grounds, accusing the ecommerce company of abusing its lofty position in the marketplace. Should the matter make it through tribunal, that case could cost Amazon a hefty 10 million euros ($12.35 million).

Both companies are main runners in the race to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company, and while some business practices could be changed as a result of this challenge, it’s unlikely the financial loss will be significant. Still, we doubt that either Apple or Google would want the bad press that comes from this sort of challenge.

In an email to Digital Trends, Google said “With more than 1,000 downloads per sec, Google Play is a great way for European app developers large and small, including many in France, to distribute their apps to people all around the world. We have been collaborating with DGCCRF on many topics over the last few years, including on Google Play. We believe our terms comply with French laws and are looking forward to making our case in court”.

We have also reached out Apple for comment and will update this article if we hear back.


Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.

Leak shows a third, budget Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 670, headphone jack

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a third. A budget Pixel 3 device that boasts some of the best features of the other two has been leaked.

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Instagram tool accidentally exposes user passwords. Were you affected?

Instagram's Download Your Data tool accidentally exposed the passwords of a small number of users. Here is the explanation on what happened, and how to find out which Instagram accounts were compromised.

New iPad Pro’s durability in question after it fails YouTuber’s bend test

The new iPad Pro models failed a bend test that was carried out by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything. The result raises questions about the durability of the tablets, especially since customers are also reporting bending issues.

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to use it.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…

How to choose the best MicroSD cards for your smartphone or tablet

If you need some extra storage space and your device supports it, then a MicroSD card is an obvious place to start. Here, we look at what to consider and suggest some of the best MicroSD cards for your smartphone.