Apple denies French government's 'abusive commercial practices' accusation

Posted:
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Apple has responded to accusations by the French government that it is taking advantage of the country's developers, dismissing claims of 'abusive commercial practices' by highlighting the funds paid to the nation's iOS app developers and the support it provides to both application producers and their users.

Apple's Opera store in Paris, France
Apple's Opera store in Paris, France


"We are proud to have strong relationships with tens of thousands of developers across France," a translated statement from Apple provided to Le Figaro reads, in Apple's defense against comments made on Wednesday by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

French developers have earned "1 billion euros ($1.23 billion) on the App Store," Apple highlights, continuing "Many of these talented developers started their businesses with one or two people and then saw their teams grow to offer their apps to users in 155 countries. This was only possible thanks to Apple's investment in iOS, development tools, and the App Store."

"We are fully prepared to share our story in the French courts and to clarify this misunderstanding." The statement ends noting "In the meantime, we will continue to help French developers realize their dreams and support French students in their code learning through our coding program."

Minister Le Maire accused Apple and Google of imposing prices on apps placed on the App Store, that the firms "take all their data," and can "unilaterally rewrite" their contracts. Calling it unacceptable and "not the economy" the country wants, Le Maire insisted "They can't treat our startups and developers the way they do."

Seemingly in answering the "take all their data" complaint, Apple states it "has always defended the privacy and security of users and does not have access to user transactions with third-party applications."

Le Maire made the comments as part of a radio interview about the French government's intention to take Apple and Google to court over so-called "abusive commercial practices." Based on an investigation between 2015 and 2017, the ministry's fraud office found there were "significant imbalances" in the relationship between the app marketplace-owning companies and the developers.

Google's response to Le Maire more directly addressed the commercial practices aspect of the minister's comments, noting the search giant has collaborated with government agencies on many topics, including Google Play. "We consider that our conditions are in accordance with French law and we are ready to explain our position before the courts," the statement claims.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,838member
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

  • Reply 2 of 22
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,299member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    BS, it is COMPLETELY relevant as it illustrates just how much they are paying out to devs there!

    And Apple didn't make ANY mistake with the Ireland / EU situation (not problem), as they followed the rules as provided by Ireland, like anyone would if such rules were deemed applicable and legal.

    The fact the EU suddenly changed their mind because they weren't getting a big enough share of the pie is just the EU being a bunch of putzes.

    And this whole business with the French taking Apple and Google to task for this nonsense is just the French being more obtuse than normal.
    randominternetpersontmaybshankjony0
  • Reply 3 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,838member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    BS, it is COMPLETELY relevant as it illustrates just how much they are paying out to devs there!

    And Apple didn't make ANY mistake with the Ireland / EU situation (not problem), as they followed the rules as provided by Ireland, like anyone would if such rules were deemed applicable and legal.

    The fact the EU suddenly changed their mind because they weren't getting a big enough share of the pie is just the EU being a bunch of putzes.

    And this whole business with the French taking Apple and Google to task for this nonsense is just the French being more obtuse than normal.
    You need to re-read both cases.

    In the Irish case the investigators found that it was effectively Apple itself that decided how much to make available for taxation. For one particular year it is claimed that Apple paid an effective tax rate of 0.005%. Countering that we 'but we pay more taxes than anyone else' is utterly irrelevant.

    In this French case I don't think the final amounts actually paid to developers was even mentioned. The issue is 'abusive business practices'.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,936member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    You’re bringing up something completely unrelated to the accusations here. Taxes weren’t mentioned anywhere in this article.
    magman1979tmaybshankjony0
  • Reply 5 of 22
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 849member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    It is the Irish government bent their rules to fit Apple and other giant corporates.
    it is EU that being a bitch that don’t like a “small” member country to play within their rules and make profit.
    magman1979tmaybshankjony0
  • Reply 6 of 22
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 849member
    EU can build their own mobile/desktop OS and smartphone to fit their own agenda. See how well it will go.
    magman1979bshank
  • Reply 7 of 22
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,229member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    100% misguided comment. The simple fact is the EU didn’t like the Irish tax laws and decided to make up some reason to exhort money from Apple and use it as a precident to exhort money from other companies. The EU needs to get Ireland to change their laws and not use their nebulous regulatory powers to go off the rails with little oversight (reference The Right to Whitewash History as another prime example of off the wall EU rulings)

    As for this case, given what the French Finance Minister said was mostly a lie, bringing up how much Apple has paid French developers is highly relevant. 
    randominternetpersonmagman1979
  • Reply 8 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,838member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    You’re bringing up something completely unrelated to the accusations here. Taxes weren’t mentioned anywhere in this article.
    But money was. Taxes are money and Apple defended itself by saying it paid more taxes (money) than anyone else. In this case it is repeating the same line.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,838member
    steven n. said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    100% misguided comment. The simple fact is the EU didn’t like the Irish tax laws and decided to make up some reason to exhort money from Apple and use it as a precident to exhort money from other companies. The EU needs to get Ireland to change their laws and not use their nebulous regulatory powers to go off the rails with little oversight (reference The Right to Whitewash History as another prime example of off the wall EU rulings)

    As for this case, given what the French Finance Minister said was mostly a lie, bringing up how much Apple has paid French developers is highly relevant. 
    The simple fact was that Apple defended itself by saying it paid more taxes than anyone else. Irrelevant to the accusations. As for those, I'll wait for the case to be heard before reaching conclusions.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    Your right. Fact of the matter is that Apples statement is misleading and arrogant.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    bshankbshank Posts: 256member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    BS, it is COMPLETELY relevant as it illustrates just how much they are paying out to devs there!

    And Apple didn't make ANY mistake with the Ireland / EU situation (not problem), as they followed the rules as provided by Ireland, like anyone would if such rules were deemed applicable and legal.

    The fact the EU suddenly changed their mind because they weren't getting a big enough share of the pie is just the EU being a bunch of putzes.

    And this whole business with the French taking Apple and Google to task for this nonsense is just the French being more obtuse than normal.
    You need to re-read both cases.

    In the Irish case the investigators found that it was effectively Apple itself that decided how much to make available for taxation. For one particular year it is claimed that Apple paid an effective tax rate of 0.005%. Countering that we 'but we pay more taxes than anyone else' is utterly irrelevant.

    In this French case I don't think the final amounts actually paid to developers was even mentioned. The issue is 'abusive business practices'.
    If you say the sky is purple enough times some people might actually start to believe you. Between Trump and this new EU approach I guess we’re in the new age of unsophisticated propaganda
    tmayjony0
  • Reply 12 of 22
    bshankbshank Posts: 256member
    viclauyyc said:
    EU can build their own mobile/desktop OS and smartphone to fit their own agenda. See how well it will go.
    Exactly. Without Apple’s App Store these developers wouldn’t have made 1/100th of the cash they made. If the EU wants to seriously claim the absolutely ginormous value Apple has added to what these developers are offering “abusive” then they are suffering from mass delusion, which wouldn’t be the first time in history.
    edited March 2018 tmayjony0
  • Reply 13 of 22
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,229member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    You’re bringing up something completely unrelated to the accusations here. Taxes weren’t mentioned anywhere in this article.
    But money was. Taxes are money and Apple defended itself by saying it paid more taxes (money) than anyone else. In this case it is repeating the same line.
    How do you respond to the blatant lies of the French Finance Minister such as Apple keeps all the developers data and forcing the developer to set specific prices?
    bshanktmayjony0
  • Reply 14 of 22
    bshankbshank Posts: 256member
    steven n. said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    You’re bringing up something completely unrelated to the accusations here. Taxes weren’t mentioned anywhere in this article.
    But money was. Taxes are money and Apple defended itself by saying it paid more taxes (money) than anyone else. In this case it is repeating the same line.
    How do you respond to the blatant lies of the French Finance Minister such as Apple keeps all the developers data and forcing the developer to set specific prices?
    I’ll bet the Euro dudes will continue to parrot their unsophisticated “the sky is purple” propaganda -“abusive business practices” or the other “sky is purple” argument “illegal state aid”. Here’s their trick- (1) make up a nonsensical term nobody uses (2) be the first to create a definition, (3) Hope it sticks
  • Reply 15 of 22
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    viclauyyc said:
    EU can build their own mobile/desktop OS and smartphone to fit their own agenda. See how well it will go.
    Hey, they’re in luck! Their predecessor already built one, so they can just reuse it. And the best part is that it has perfectly secure networking! In that it… doesn’t have networking.


    bshank
  • Reply 16 of 22
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    bshank said:

    If you say the sky is purple enough times some people might actually start to believe you. Between Trump and this new EU approach I guess we’re in the new age of unsophisticated propaganda
    France ≠ EU
  • Reply 17 of 22
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    knowitall said:
    France ≠ EU
    ??? France revoked her sovereignty to join the EU, just like everyone else did.
    bshank
  • Reply 18 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,838member
    bshank said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    BS, it is COMPLETELY relevant as it illustrates just how much they are paying out to devs there!

    And Apple didn't make ANY mistake with the Ireland / EU situation (not problem), as they followed the rules as provided by Ireland, like anyone would if such rules were deemed applicable and legal.

    The fact the EU suddenly changed their mind because they weren't getting a big enough share of the pie is just the EU being a bunch of putzes.

    And this whole business with the French taking Apple and Google to task for this nonsense is just the French being more obtuse than normal.
    You need to re-read both cases.

    In the Irish case the investigators found that it was effectively Apple itself that decided how much to make available for taxation. For one particular year it is claimed that Apple paid an effective tax rate of 0.005%. Countering that we 'but we pay more taxes than anyone else' is utterly irrelevant.

    In this French case I don't think the final amounts actually paid to developers was even mentioned. The issue is 'abusive business practices'.
    If you say the sky is purple enough times some people might actually start to believe you. Between Trump and this new EU approach I guess we’re in the new age of unsophisticated propaganda
    I haven't jumped to any conclusions on this case or the EU and taxes, so no one needs to believe me. In fact, I've made it clear that first the case has to be heard and Apple has to put forward it's defence. 

    What I have made clear is that if you really find it necessary to defend yourself in the realm of public opinion, if someone claims you decided for yourself how much to make available for taxation and the claimed percentage paid in an example was as low as 0.005%, then you take that bull by the horns and set the record straight in a clear and concise way.

    What you don't do is play the 'values' card ('Apple believes in...' and follow it up with the 'victim' card ('we pay more taxes than anyone else') because the simple fact that you didn't counter the claims head on with anything bulletproof gets people's noses up and what they smell isn't usually roses and you have that hanging over your head in the public domain until the case is resolved.

    You also leave yourself open to further damage if anything else floats to the surface (just as it did with the Panama Papers) and find people wanting you to give answers on that too.

    It is far better to ride the storm and see how things play out. That way at least, things don't get worse from a PR perspective.


    singularity
  • Reply 19 of 22
    bshankbshank Posts: 256member
    avon b7 said:
    bshank said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    BS, it is COMPLETELY relevant as it illustrates just how much they are paying out to devs there!

    And Apple didn't make ANY mistake with the Ireland / EU situation (not problem), as they followed the rules as provided by Ireland, like anyone would if such rules were deemed applicable and legal.

    The fact the EU suddenly changed their mind because they weren't getting a big enough share of the pie is just the EU being a bunch of putzes.

    And this whole business with the French taking Apple and Google to task for this nonsense is just the French being more obtuse than normal.
    You need to re-read both cases.

    In the Irish case the investigators found that it was effectively Apple itself that decided how much to make available for taxation. For one particular year it is claimed that Apple paid an effective tax rate of 0.005%. Countering that we 'but we pay more taxes than anyone else' is utterly irrelevant.

    In this French case I don't think the final amounts actually paid to developers was even mentioned. The issue is 'abusive business practices'.
    If you say the sky is purple enough times some people might actually start to believe you. Between Trump and this new EU approach I guess we’re in the new age of unsophisticated propaganda
    I haven't jumped to any conclusions on this case or the EU and taxes, so no one needs to believe me. In fact, I've made it clear that first the case has to be heard and Apple has to put forward it's defence. 

    What I have made clear is that if you really find it necessary to defend yourself in the realm of public opinion, if someone claims you decided for yourself how much to make available for taxation and the claimed percentage paid in an example was as low as 0.005%, then you take that bull by the horns and set the record straight in a clear and concise way.

    What you don't do is play the 'values' card ('Apple believes in...' and follow it up with the 'victim' card ('we pay more taxes than anyone else') because the simple fact that you didn't counter the claims head on with anything bulletproof gets people's noses up and what they smell isn't usually roses and you have that hanging over your head in the public domain until the case is resolved.

    You also leave yourself open to further damage if anything else floats to the surface (just as it did with the Panama Papers) and find people wanting you to give answers on that too.

    It is far better to ride the storm and see how things play out. That way at least, things don't get worse from a PR perspective.


    If Apple is going to have to go to court they are not going to put all of that info in the public domain. No person or company in their right mind would. The broader public would also be bored to tears by the details and that would likely not create the dramatic impact you’re implying it would anyway because of this.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,838member
    bshank said:
    avon b7 said:
    bshank said:
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    Apple seems to be making the same mistake it made with the Irish - EU problem.

    Stating the amount of money it has paid out (either through taxes or to developers) is irrelevant to the issues that are being posed.

    BS, it is COMPLETELY relevant as it illustrates just how much they are paying out to devs there!

    And Apple didn't make ANY mistake with the Ireland / EU situation (not problem), as they followed the rules as provided by Ireland, like anyone would if such rules were deemed applicable and legal.

    The fact the EU suddenly changed their mind because they weren't getting a big enough share of the pie is just the EU being a bunch of putzes.

    And this whole business with the French taking Apple and Google to task for this nonsense is just the French being more obtuse than normal.
    You need to re-read both cases.

    In the Irish case the investigators found that it was effectively Apple itself that decided how much to make available for taxation. For one particular year it is claimed that Apple paid an effective tax rate of 0.005%. Countering that we 'but we pay more taxes than anyone else' is utterly irrelevant.

    In this French case I don't think the final amounts actually paid to developers was even mentioned. The issue is 'abusive business practices'.
    If you say the sky is purple enough times some people might actually start to believe you. Between Trump and this new EU approach I guess we’re in the new age of unsophisticated propaganda
    I haven't jumped to any conclusions on this case or the EU and taxes, so no one needs to believe me. In fact, I've made it clear that first the case has to be heard and Apple has to put forward it's defence. 

    What I have made clear is that if you really find it necessary to defend yourself in the realm of public opinion, if someone claims you decided for yourself how much to make available for taxation and the claimed percentage paid in an example was as low as 0.005%, then you take that bull by the horns and set the record straight in a clear and concise way.

    What you don't do is play the 'values' card ('Apple believes in...' and follow it up with the 'victim' card ('we pay more taxes than anyone else') because the simple fact that you didn't counter the claims head on with anything bulletproof gets people's noses up and what they smell isn't usually roses and you have that hanging over your head in the public domain until the case is resolved.

    You also leave yourself open to further damage if anything else floats to the surface (just as it did with the Panama Papers) and find people wanting you to give answers on that too.

    It is far better to ride the storm and see how things play out. That way at least, things don't get worse from a PR perspective.


    If Apple is going to have to go to court they are not going to put all of that info in the public domain. No person or company in their right mind would. The broader public would also be bored to tears by the details and that would likely not create the dramatic impact you’re implying it would anyway because of this.
    It was two simple points (Apple reportedly paid an effective rate of 0.005%  and the amount the company made available for taxation was decided by the company itself).

    Nothing complex or even boring. Those are details that provoke curiosity among the general public. Two simple 'nos' would suffice.

    If the claims are in fact true but lacking context a simple 'no comment' by legal representation would suffice on the grounds that the case is complex.

    That's a bad situation to be in because many of the general public would see a 'no comment' as an admission of guilt but attempting to defend yourself publicly the way Apple did can open a can of worms.


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