Why a French association (Le Figaro, L’Équipe, Deezer, etc.) is filing a complaint against Apple
Le GESTE, an association that brings together most of the major French publishers, brought the case before the American judiciary. She wants to condemn Apple for its policy in the App Store.
In a press release dated Janah On August 11, the US-based law firm Hagens Berman announced that it would represent the French association Le GESTE in a lawsuit against Apple. Why choose this company? Because Hagens Berman is known for having obtained from Apple the creation of a fund of 100 million dollars for small American developers, which we consider very attractive for this consortium of French publishers. GESTE, also represented by Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi, a French lawyer specializing in competition law, no doubt hopes to make Apple back down in a strong anti-monopoly context for the same reasons. The App Store has been the subject of a lot of criticism in recent years and its model may be forced to evolve.
Who are the members of GESTE?
The law firm Hagens Berman, accustomed to beating the giants (there was a lawsuit against Apple Books and another against Google Play), will represent Société du Figaro (the developer of Figaro’s applications) in a class action lawsuit. L’Équipe 24/24 (developer of the L’Équipe group applications) and the association Le GESTE, which brings together a large number of French publishers. The full list of its members is available on its website. To save you time, here are some of the most popular names:
- 20 minutes
- The TF1 group
- France 24 / RFI
- Google (its presence may seem more surprising, especially in the context of an attack on Apple, while Google has had the same rules for a long time. Master Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi tells us that only members of GESTE who publish applications will be really affected.)
- IN ONE
- The team
- Le figaro
- The Parisian / Les Echos
- media part
- French radio
- TV5 world
- The Express
- AT Internet
Small developers who want to join the lawsuit for compensation if Apple agrees to do the same as it did in the United States can do so. All they have to do is contact lawyer Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi to join them class action.
What the French accuse Apple of
The complaint was filed in the Federal Trial Court for the Northern District of California, a way for the association’s attorneys to confront Apple directly on its land.
Among the accusations leveled at Apple, it is pointed out in particular that the brand has monopolized its app store (there are no alternative stores), that its 30% commission is far too high (it has since been replaced by 15% for small developers, but they hope for compensation) and that paying an annual subscription to publish apps on the App Store harms small French developers. Other similar complaints exist around the world, with the App Store and Play Store under particular scrutiny from authorities. On the other hand, it’s the first time foreigners have filed a complaint in the United States, which could set a dangerous precedent for Apple.
What the French are hoping for thanks to their lawsuit against Apple
Several requests are submitted by the representatives of the Le GESTE association, e.g. B. allowing applications to be made available in places other than the App Store or adding new price levels in Europe (today there are 82 according to Master Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi). .
Ideally, Le GESTE and its representatives are hoping for an agreement with Apple like the one that was reached in the United States. In case Apple refuses (probably to avoid taking other countries to US courts), “We are ready to go to the end of the process” explains Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi. “The aim is to achieve changes in the rules, such as easing certain restrictions” says the lawyer, who pushes the financial aspect into the background.
What are the chances of success?
First, the American judges must examine the admissibility of the lawsuit. In 6 to 8 months we will know if French publishers can attack Apple in the US or if they will have to settle for European authorities like the French competition authority (another case advocated by Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi). In the event that the file is deemed legitimate, it should allow developers to receive some form of compensation.