France fines Google €2m over app developers’ contracts

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French judges have ordered Google to rewrite the contracts it uses for app developers after officials said they were “imposing tariffs” on startups.

The US tech giant was fined two million euros for abusive commercial practices and told to modify seven clauses in its contracts, according to a ruling by a commercial court in Paris issued on Monday and seen by AFP on Tuesday.

One of the clauses forced developers to price their apps within a range set by Google, awarding the firm a 30 percent commission from each sale on the Play Store.

France’s competition authority (DGCCRF) started legal proceedings in 2018 over the contract clauses, introduced by the firm during 2015 and 2016.

The court found that the disputed clauses had been imposed “without effective negotiation” and had created “a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties”.