French lawsuit against 'abusive' Apple developer contracts calling in September

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What you need to know

  • Apple is being sued by the government in France.
  • The country's economy minister alleges that Apple's developer contracts are abusive.
  • The case has a new court date in mid-September that will decide the timetable for the rest of the case.

A lawsuit filed against Apple by the French government four years ago over its App Store has a new September court date where the timetable of the rest of the case will be decided.

As reported by Politico:

A French case against Apple that's been gathering dust for years could soon add to the tech giant's headaches.The legal action, which focuses on the U.S. tech giant's contracts with French app developers and echoes ongoing litigation in California, will move forward in the fall, according to the case file and people familiar with the case. The next hearing, scheduled in mid-September, will set a new timetable for the dispute's final stretch, the people said.

Apple was first sued by the country's finance minister four years ago, in a case that could see Apple forced to change some of the clauses in its developer contracts in the country, though the action is unlikely to result in any financial penalty.

France Digitale has reportedly joined the government as a co-claimant, offering its own testimony and evidence regarding Apple's practices. From the report:

In the court document, the ministry argues that some of Apple's contractual clauses create a "significant imbalance in the rights and duties of the parties." The government is urging the court to force the U.S. tech company to strike the clauses deemed problematic, and pay a €2 million fine.

France Digitale claims that Apple is "dictacting unfair conditions", according to Politico, for developers who want to distribute their apps in the country. The case is very similar in nature to numerous antitrust probes into Apple mounted by the EU, the UK, and the lawsuit filed by Epic Games which was heard in court earlier this year.

The September 17 court hearing will see the remaining course of the trial scheduled, including revealing when we can expect a decision in the case.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9