It is reported today in Europe that France has struck again against Apple when French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Tuesday criticized the domination of foreign companies in European markets, directly referring to the power of US tech giant Apple in the digital arena and calling for the creation of more “European champions”.
Speaking at an event on digital competitiveness organized by the German Presidency of the EU, Le Maire denounced the “extreme concentration” of certain markets in Europe, where “a small number of very large international platforms harvest the ‘essential profits’.
Giving an example of such a scenario, the French finance minister cited Apple’s business operations as a particular area that has hurt competitiveness in Europe.
“Apple’s market capitalization is now greater than the capitalization of the entire CAC 40,” he said, referring to the benchmark French stock index.
“It’s a competition issue when these companies develop strategies to lock their users into their services and ecosystems,” added Le Maire, in a veiled reference to the operations of the Apple App Store, which has long been a source of frustration for rival companies of Apple and for small businesses seeking greater visibility on the platform.
In June, the European Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation in the App Store to determine whether Apple’s app distribution rules violate EU competition rules.
In Europe, the case caught the attention of German competition chief Andreas Mundt, who said the Federal Cartel Office was closely monitoring the dispute, with the aim of potentially opening a more thorough investigation in the row. .
Speaking further on the Apple case on Tuesday, competition lawyer Damien Geradin said the Apple App Store was an example of a “closed system” market characterized by “large economies of scale. , direct and indirect network effects ”.
Frenchman Le Maire added on Tuesday that “we must not wait until all European companies are overtaken by foreign giants to react”.
Our new ‘regulation would specifically target digital platforms that had acquired dominant positions in the market with significant network effects and acting as gatekeepers., this would prevent confinement and predation strategies with tailored and proportionate measures. ”
It looks like Apple will definitely pay a huge price later this year or 2021 with France and now Germany has determined that Apple will not have the power it has today with the App Store. While this is only an opinion, I think President Trump is more than willing to hit back in France to focus on US tech companies and Apple in particular. But if he doesn’t win a second term, Socialist Joe Biden will do nothing to agitate his socialist cronies in Europe. Maybe I am wrong, but only time will tell.