The company was condemned for abusive commercial practices towards the developers of mobile applications.
Google was sentenced Monday by the Paris Commercial Court to a “civil fine” of 2 million euros for abusive commercial practices towards mobile application developers, and must modify seven clauses of its distribution contract, according to the judgment consulted Tuesday by AFP.
The company had been sued in 2018 by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF), at the instigation of the Ministry of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, who accused it of “impose tariffs” on French start-ups wishing to sell their applications on its platforms, recover their data and be able to “unilaterally modify contracts”.
The court held that the seven contentious clauses of the distribution contract, dated from May 5, 2015 to July 2, 2016, were “imposed by Google without effective negotiation” and “reflect the application developers’ submission or attempted submission to obligations creating a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties”.
“Gravity of practices”
One of these clauses notably required developers to set the prices of their applications within a price range defined by Google, and to let the web giant take a 30% commission on each sale made on the Play Store. .
Given the “seriousness of the practices” incriminated, Google will have to pay a civil fine of 2 million euros which “sanctions the breach of economic public order”. He will also have to modify his clauses within 3 months.
“Android and Google Play give developers more choice than any other platform, and the ability to reach an ever-growing audience,” Google told AFP.
The group argues that it has already modified several clauses pointed out by the court, and that it recently lowered its commission for small developers and for subscriptions.
Apple, which was also assigned in 2018 by the DGCCRF, is still awaiting a court decision concerning it.
The two American giants are under strong global pressure to limit their arch-dominant position in the lucrative mobile application market.