The French Commercial Court in Paris has fined Apple €1 million for abusive App Store practices. The verdict ruled that Apple unfairly imposed commercial clauses on the app developers.
The decision follows a multi-year investigation by France’s consumer affairs and fraud watchdog (DGCCRF), which the French Ministry of Finance oversaw. The investigation found “significant imbalances” in the relationship between Apple and the developers who sell apps on the App Store.
In a statement, Apple said it will review the court’s decision and continue to work with French developers. The company emphasized that it believes in “vibrant and competitive markets” that allows innovation to flourish. “Through the App Store, we’ve helped French developers of all sizes share their passion and creativity with users around the world while creating a secure and trusted place for customers,” the statement reads.
While the fine may seem small in comparison to Apple’s overall income, it could potentially lead to changes in App Store rules. In addition to France, Apple is also facing several other inquiries into its App Store and business practices in various countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US.
Apple is also reportedly planning to allow third-party app stores and sideloading on iOS. It is unclear when this change will be implemented or what specific policies will be put in place, but the news comes amid ongoing scrutiny of tech giants and their power over the app ecosystem. It remains to be seen how this change will affect the relationships between Apple and developers, as well as the overall app distribution landscape on iPhone.
The decision by the French Commercial Court highlights the ongoing scrutiny of tech giants like Apple and their power over the app ecosystem. France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire has previously spoken out about the need to level the playing field for developers, arguing that both Apple and Google’s app stores have an unfair advantage over software developers.