Google may end up being sued by France, said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, over what he has called "abusive practices" found in the search giant's contractual arrangement with app developers for Android. More specifically, the minister believes that the policy changes and imposed pricing laid out in the company's Google Play Store contracts with developers and start-ups are worthy of a lawsuit. Le Maire understandably didn't choose to go into further details aside from mentioning that the company should not use its power in that way. Meanwhile, the case will be brought before the Paris commercial court, according to Le Maire. There is no date set yet for proceedings to begin but the minister also expects that the European Union (EU) can also be pressed to close tax loopholes benefiting the company by the year 2019. Some within the EU are currently working to address the problems with taxing tech giants based overseas.
For Google's part, a company spokesperson has released a statement saying that the company believes itself to be in compliance with French law on the matters. Moreover, the company looks forward to presenting its case in court. With that said, Google has caught several bad breaks in the EU and elsewhere over the past couple of years, in addition to facing accusations outside of the legal sphere. Among those was one case where several million dollars in fines were paid in the EU and another where the company was forced to open up its browser to secondary search engines in Russia. So the company should be well prepared for whatever challenges lie ahead with this case. The company also shouldn't have any trouble paying the fines France's Finance Minister is seeking to impose – which are set at around $2.5 million for the ordeal.
In the meantime, Google is not the only company Le Maire plans to charge with the allegations. Apple is included in that as well. The iPhone manufacturer is facing precisely the same charges as Google. What's more, it has been included in Le Maire's list of companies with regard to the EU tax loophole. The minister also says those loopholes are providing unwarranted benefits to Facebook and Amazon.