After the EU antitrust case and a breach of the GDPR, Google is once again facing legal action, this time for unfair business practices. The Commercial Court in Paris has fined the search engine giant 2 million euros in the process, according to French newspaper Le Figaro.
Google: 2 million euro fine in France
The reason for the fine in the millions that Google must now pay are several clauses in the distribution contracts for app developers or startups. They oblige developers to set app prices within a price range specified on the part of Google. The problem is that Google itself receives a commission of 30 percent on the app purchases.
At the same time, however, the company has contractually granted itself unrestricted use of all information, including confidential information. In addition, Google had completely released itself from liability and warranty vis-à-vis the developers. The Commercial Court in Paris sees this as unfair business practices.
Back in 2018, the case was brought to court by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Protection and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF), along with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. Apple also accused Le Maire of “abusive business practices”as Le Figaro previously reported.
Seven clauses must be removed
The contracts affected and objected to by the court date back to May 2015 and July 2016, with the court listing a total of seven clauses that it considers to be unlawful and where Google must make improvements.
Google is to remove these from the contracts within three months. For each day of delay, a fine of 10,000 euros is also due, it adds. Google, on the other hand, argues that the contracts have developed considerably since 2016 and that some of the criticized clauses have already been removed. The company’s own commission rate has also changed in the meantime and should currently only be 15 percent of the turnover that developers who earn less than a million dollars per year on Google Play. Apple, on the other hand, also wants 30 percent commission from the pie for its part.
In a statement sent by Google to Le Figaro, the company regrets the decision of the Paris Commercial Court and takes note of it. Currently, it is still considering appealing the ruling. The case against Apple is currently still being investigated by the court.