French Regulators Add Apple To Their Hitlist

The move made by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to ban the app AppGratis from its app store is drawing fire from the French digital minister, Fleur Pellerin, who has been up in arms over Apple’s handling of the matter.

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Pellerin described the actions taken by the iPhone maker as being “extremely brutal, and asked that Apple “behave ethically” when dealing with small vendors such as AppGratis, which employs 45 people and is based in Paris. Pellerin described Apple’s actions as “unilaterally and without explanation.”

“This isn’t virtuous and dignified behavior for a company of that scale,” she added, and noted that there were numerous similar applications on Apple’s app store. Through her harsh criticisms of the company, Pellerin said her getting involved in the matter was focused on getting Apple back into negotiations with AppGratis, but also warned (albeit separately) that the sort of behavior exhibited may cause the country to consider some sort of preventative legislation…

American tech giants seemingly have a long list of run-ins with European regulators, and France seems to be a favorite venue. Recently, French investigators were called in to look into Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Skype program, after it continuously ignored requests to register as a telecom operator. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Twitter have no been immune from France’s digital regulations either, as both have been pulled aside over privacy policy matters.

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Apple said that it removed AppGratis due to two violations of the app store guidelines. One says that apps cannot promote other vendors’ apps (AppGratis grants the user one free app per day), and the second prohibits the use of iOS’s notifications system for paid-for promotions, according to the Financial Times. 

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