Why the French association (Le Figaro, L’Équipe, Deezer, etc.) filed a complaint against Apple

Le GESTE, an association that brings together most of the major French publishers, usurped American justice. He wants to judge Apple for its App Store policy.

In a press release published on 1er August, the law firm Hagens Berman, located in the United States, announced that it will represent the French association Le GESTE in the context of a complaint 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 think is very attractive for this consortium of French publishers. Also represented by Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi, a French lawyer specializing in competition law, GESTE no doubt hopes to make Apple turn for the same reasons, in a strong context that anti-monopoly. The App Store has been the subject of much criticism in recent years and its model may be forced to evolve.

Who are the members of GESTE?

Accustomed to defeating giants (there is a lawsuit against Apple Books and another against Google Play), the company Hagens Berman will represent, within the framework of the class action, the Société du Figaro (the developer of the Figaro applications) , L’Équipe 24/24 (the developer of L’Équipe group applications) and the association of Le GESTE, which brings together many French publishers. A 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
  • Altice
  • art
  • paid
  • Canal+
  • Deezer
  • France 24 / RFI
  • Google (its presence seems more surprising, especially in the context of an attack against Apple, while Google has long had the same rules. Master Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi told us that only members of GESTE who publish the applications will really worry.)
  • mother
  • Konbini
  • The group
Some of the members of GESTE. // Source: Numberama screenshot
  • yahoo
  • Le Figaro
  • Point
  • The Parisian / Les Echos
  • M6
  • Dorcel
  • Mediapart
  • orange
  • French Radio
  • house
  • World of TV5
  • The Express
  • AT Internet
Hagens Berman
The company responsible for representing the French association. // Source: Hagens Berman

Small developers who want to join the complaint, to get compensation if Apple agrees to do the same thing as the United States, can do so. All they have to do is contact the lawyer Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi to join the class action.

What the French blame on Apple

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

Among the insults made by Apple, it is particularly indicated that the brand has made its App Store a monopoly (there are no alternative stores), that its 30% commission is too high (it was replaced by 15% for small developers since then. , but they hope to get paid) and that the payment of an annual subscription to publish apps on the App Store causes harm to small developers in France. Other similar complaints exist around the world, while the App Store and the Play Store in particular are being investigated by the authorities. On the other hand, this is the first time that foreigners have come to file a complaint in the United States, which could be a dangerous precedent for Apple.

“If the French are accepted, this is a change that could have a more global impact”

Master Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi, of Numerama

What the French hope thanks to their lawsuit against Apple

Several requests will be submitted to the representatives of the Le GESTE association, such as the authorization to deploy applications in other places than the App Store or adding new price levels in Europe (there are currently 82 according to Master Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi) .

In fact, Le GESTE and its representatives hope to get an agreement with Apple, as happened in the United States. If Apple refuses to do this (perhaps to avoid appealing to other countries in US courts), “We are ready to go to the end of the trial” explained Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi. “The goal is to get changes in the rules, like easing some restrictions” according to the lawyer, putting the financial aspect in the background.

What are the chances of success?

First, American judges must review the admissibility of the action. In 6 to 8 months, we will know if French publishers can attack Apple in the United States or if they have to settle with European authorities, such as the French Competition Authority (another case represented by Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi). If the file is deemed acceptable, then the developers should be allowed to get some form of payment.

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