PARIS (Reuters) – France will take Google (GOOGL.O) and Apple (AAPL.O) to court over contractual terms imposed by the tech giants on startups and developers, said Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

FILE PHOTO: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire speaks during a news conference after a National Council of Industry at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Speaking on RTL radio, Le Maire said on Wednesday he had become aware that Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. unilaterally imposed prices and other contractual terms on software developers.

“I will therefore be taking Google and Apple to the Paris commercial court for abusive trade practices,” Le Maire said.

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“As powerful as they are, Google and Apple should not be able to treat our startups and our developers the way they currently do.”

Spokespeople for Apple France and Google France did not immediately respond to calls and messages from Reuters seeking comment.

Le Maire also said he expected the European Union to close tax loopholes that benefit Google, Apple, Facebook (FB.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) by the start of 2019. Brussels is currently examining measures to improve the taxation of overseas tech giants’ online business in European markets.

Reporting by Laurence Frost and Julie Carriat; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta


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