Why is a French association (Le Figaro, L’Équipe, Deezer, etc.) filing a complaint against Apple?

Le GESTE, an association bringing together most of the major French publishers, took the case to American justice. He wants to criticize Apple for its App Store policies.

In a press release published on 1er In August, the law firm Hagens Berman, based in the United States, announced that it would represent the French association Le GESTE in the wake of the complaint against Apple. Why choose this firm? Because Hagens Berman is known for creating a fund of 100 million dollars from Apple for small American developers, which we find very interesting for this consortium of French publishers. Represented by French lawyer Fairuz Masmi-Daji, who specializes in competition law, GESTE is no doubt hoping to sway Apple for the same reason in a strong antitrust context. The App Store has been the subject of numerous criticisms in recent years, and its model may be forced to evolve.

Who are the members of GESTE?

Accustomed to beating giants (there was one case against Apple Book and another against Google Play), the firm Hagens Berman will represent, within the framework of a class action, Societe du Figaro (the developer of the Figaro applications), L’Équipe 24/24 (the L’Équipe group of applications developers) and the Le GESTE association, which brings together a large number of French publishers. A complete list of its members is available on its website. To save you time, here are some well-known names:

  • 20 minutes
  • TF1 group
  • Altis
  • the industry
  • Baird
  • Canal+
  • Deezer
  • France 24 / RFI
  • Google’s presence may seem more surprising, especially in the context of attacks against Apple, although Google has long had similar rules. Master Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi tells us that only members of GESTE who publish applications are really concerned. will be.)
  • INA
  • no one
  • The party
Some members of GESTE. // Source: Numerma screenshot
  • yahoo
  • Le Figaro
  • the point
  • The Parisian / Les Echos
  • M6
  • dorsal
  • Mediapart
  • orange
  • French radio
  • Housing
  • TV 5 World
  • Express
  • It is the Internet
Hagens Berman
Firm responsible for representing French associations. // Source: Hagens Berman

Small developers who wish to join the complaint, in order to receive compensation, can do so if Apple agrees to do the same as in the US. All they have to do is contact lawyer Fairuz Masmi-Daji to join class action.

What the French blame Apple for

The complaint was filed in the federal trial court for the Northern District of California, a way for the association’s lawyers to deal directly with Apple over its land.

Among the criticisms leveled at Apple, it is specifically indicated that the brand has monopolized its App Store (no alternative store), that its 30% commission is too high (it has been replaced by 15% for small developers. , but they expect to be compensated) And paying annual subscriptions to publish apps on the App Store hurts small French developers. Other similar complaints exist around the world, while App Store and Play Store authorities are specifically investigating. On the other hand, this is the first time foreigners have come to the US to file a complaint, which could set a dangerous precedent for Apple.

“If the French are admitted, it’s a change that could have a more global impact”

Master Fairuz Masmi-Daji, in Numerama

What the French hope for their case against Apple

Several requests will be submitted by representatives of the Le GESTE association, such as authorizing the placement of applications elsewhere than in the App Store or adding new price levels in Europe (according to Master Fairuz Masmi-Daji there are 82 today) .

Ideally, Le GESTE and its representatives hope to obtain an agreement with Apple, as has been the case in the United States. The fact that Apple refuses to do so (presumably to avoid attracting other countries to US courts), “We are ready to go to the end of the trial” Explained by Fairuz Masmi-Daji. “The aim is to bring about changes in the rules, such as loosening some of the restrictions.” According to the lawyer, those who keep the financial aspect in the background.

What are the chances of success?

First, American judges must examine the admissibility of the action. In 6 to 8 months, we will know whether French publishers can attack Apple in the US or have to settle with European authorities, such as the French Competition Authority (another case represented by Faruz Masmi-Daji). If the file is deemed acceptable, it will allow the developers to receive some compensation.

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