French minister takes Apple to task over yanking AppGratis from App Store

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In an interview on Thursday, France's digital industry minister Fleur Pellerin had some tough words for Apple over the company's takedown of app discovery service AppGratis, saying the move was "brutal" and put the startup in danger.

As noted by CNET, Pellerin now plans to ask the EU to examine the takedown, while requesting European regulators crack down on digital platforms like search engines and social media outlets. She said the recent decision justifies closer inspection of how influential tech companies "impose" their rules and regulations on others.

"I recall that the French are the world's second largest developers of software applications behind the United States for mobile devices," Pellerin told LeMonde Informatique. "What is the sense of investing if, overnight, the economic model is jeopardized by a unilateral decision...There is an issue of fairness in commercial relations..."

Fleur Pellerin
French Minister Delegate for Small and Medium Enterprises, Innovation, and the Digital Economy, Fleur Pellerin. | Source: Global Post


Before being pulled from the App Store earlier this week, France-based App Gratis served up notable iOS titles to more than 10 million users. The company's blog noted the service drove one million app installs per day for its app partners.

In banning AppGratis, Apple cited a newly implemented rule that denied services from promote other apps in a manner similar to the App Store. The Cupertino company also said the app broke another mandate against using push notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing.

A day after AppGratis was deprecated from the App Store, company CEO Simon Dawlat aired his frustration in a blog post, claiming that reviewers had not only approved the most recent app update, but also let pass an iPad version, which was given the OK just one week prior.

The AppGratis fuss is just the beginning, according to AllThingsD's John Paczkowski, who heard from people familiar with the matter that "Apple feels these apps threaten the legitimacy of the App Store charts by providing a way for developers to spend their way to a high ranking." This thinking, which holds that such apps "undermine the integrity" of the App Store by offering what are effectively alternative storefronts, could lead to broader restrictions in the near future.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 75
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    She said the recent decision justifies closer inspection of how influential tech companies "impose" their rules and regulations on others.


     


    +1 for the irony.

  • Reply 2 of 75
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    So don't buy Apple products, France. Would you give a frick if the app in question wasn't based in France?

  • Reply 3 of 75
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Actually she called it "extremely brutal". You might not agree with it, but "extremely brutal" it isn't.


    If little faults proceeding on distemper
    Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we stretch our eye
    When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd, and digested,
    Appear before us?
    -Henry V


    Reserve such language for cases where extreme brutality are in evidence.
  • Reply 4 of 75
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member
    I enjoy the security of the walled garden when it comes to protection from malware or spam type apps but I do wish Apple would loosen up a bit about apps like this not too mention their puritanical views on adult content.
  • Reply 5 of 75
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    "I recall that the French are the world's second largest developers of software applications behind the United States for mobile devices," Pellerin told LeMonde Informatique. "What is the sense of investing if, overnight, the economic model is jeopardized by a unilateral decision...There is an issue of fairness in commercial relations..."

    Better make sure that you invest in companies that play by the rules in order for the model to succeed.

    Commercial Fairness ? huh, the French have a long and proud tradition in commercial fairness ?
    When did that happen ?
  • Reply 6 of 75


    Apple ultimately can run its AppStore they way it likes as a private contracted construct, as we all have the freedom as consumers and vendors to take our products and money to other platforms.  There is no reason that services like AppGratis could not become a web app instead!


     


    France is socialist out of control -- big government run amok.  Everyone seems to think gov't needs to do more - when they really need to do LESS...  The free market works, if the bureaucrats would let it and stop interfering in every little thing.

  • Reply 7 of 75
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


     


    +1 for the irony.



    Haha, yes. Someone from the government complaining about the imposition of rules and regulations, classic.

  • Reply 8 of 75
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,104member
    Why the **** is the French minister getting involved in this? This is really a special kind of attention-whoring. Apple accepts thousands of new apps a week, yet rejections get a massive, unwarranted amount of coverage so that people with agendas can get into the spotlight. Maybe it should be international news when a product doesn't get into Walmart? It's apple's store, they set the rules, which more often than not benefits the average consumer and overall store quality - you don't agree with their rules, make your own fucking store, or better yet, just develop for Android and see if you can make money in that clusterfuck of a store with 80% piracy rates.
  • Reply 9 of 75
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Haha, yes. Someone from the government complaining about the imposition of rules and regulations, classic.



     


    More specific, the French government complaining about someone imposing rules and regulations. Ironic indeed.

  • Reply 10 of 75
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post


    Apple ultimately can run its AppStore they way it likes as a private contracted construct, as we all have the freedom as consumers and vendors to take our products and money to other platforms.  



     


    I think it's interesting that many people want everyone else, from the government down to the cable and wireless companies, to practice net neutrality... but then allow the final step in the chain, a device maker, full control over what kind of apps can or cannot be downloaded.


     


    If Apple can do it, shouldn't Verizon or AT&T be allowed to censor apps as well?  After all, you can just take your money elsewhere.  Unless everyone is censoring.

  • Reply 11 of 75
    jollypauljollypaul Posts: 328member


    If this French politician wants to run Apple, I suggest she apply to the board and ask to be CEO. Her qualifications will be given due consideration.

  • Reply 12 of 75
    payecopayeco Posts: 267member
    kdarling wrote: »
    I think it's interesting that many people want everyone else, from the government down to the cable and wireless companies, to practice net neutrality... but then allow the final step in the chain, a device maker, full control over what kind of apps can or cannot be downloaded.

    If Apple can do it, shouldn't Verizon or AT&T be allowed to censor apps as well?

    You have a choice of device makers to choose from. If you don't like their policies buy someone else's device. The same can not be said for the vast majority of this country when it comes to ISPs.
  • Reply 13 of 75
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,647member
    kdarling wrote: »
    I think it's interesting that many people want everyone else, from the government down to the cable and wireless companies, to practice net neutrality... but then allow the final step in the chain, a device maker, full control over what kind of apps can or cannot be downloaded.

    If Apple can do it, shouldn't Verizon or AT&T be allowed to censor apps as well?  After all, you can just take your money elsewhere.  Unless everyone is censoring.

    Buying an Apple product is a choice. In many areas of the country, you have no choice for ISP. I only have access to Comcast for high speed Internet.
  • Reply 14 of 75
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    kdarling wrote: »
    I think it's interesting that many people want everyone else, from the government down to the cable and wireless companies, to practice net neutrality... but then allow the final step in the chain, a device maker, full control over what kind of apps can or cannot be downloaded.

    If Apple can do it, shouldn't Verizon or AT&T be allowed to censor apps as well?  After all, you can just take your money elsewhere.  Unless everyone is censoring.
    They have in the past. I know when I had an HTC AT&T phone they didn't allow the SiriusXM app in Android market.

    Honestly this is much ado about nothing, except App Gratis looking for attention. Seems to me the EU has more important things to worry about than this.
  • Reply 15 of 75


    Ce que vous pensez, madame, ne m'interesse pas.

  • Reply 16 of 75
    Apple should also ban apps providing similar services as maps, safari, weather, calendar, notes, podcast... Only Apple can provide perfect apps fulfilling all the needs of the user. Rectify!!!
  • Reply 17 of 75
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Most of you seem to be missing the most important point.

    She's hot!

    ;)

    [SIZE=0](Yes, I am just being silly)[/SIZE]
  • Reply 18 of 75
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    We saved your a** in WWII so give us a break. /sarcasm
  • Reply 19 of 75
    gtr wrote: »
    Most of you seem to be missing the most important point.

    She's hot!

    ;)

    (Yes, I am just being silly)

    It doesn't give her opinion any greater validity. This is part of the "Apple is big and evil" narrative that's in vogue these days.
  • Reply 20 of 75
    ziadjkziadjk Posts: 52member
    jd_in_sb wrote: »
    We saved your a** in WWII so give us a break.

    Typical American response to anything French people say. Also, irrelevant.
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