Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could face action in the European Union over its removal of the AppGratis app from the App Store.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) removed the free app which enabled users to discover other apps in the App Store. It apparently violated two of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) guidelines: it advertised apps other than those made by the developer and it used push notifications for marketing.
Today Reuters reports that France intends to go to the European Commission to seek tighter restrictions on Internet companies. The nation is standing up for AppGratis, which was made by a French designer. According to AppGratis, it has 12 million users all over the globe, and its revenue last year was 9 million euros.
Fleur Pellerin, the French junior minister for digital economy, visited iMediapp, AppGratis’ publisher. He said the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) decision to remove the app was “brutal and unilateral” and “not worthy of a company this size.”
She also said that some Internet companies did things like this repeatedly and that she plans to request that the European Commission and European Union nations create better regulations for digital platforms, social media and search engines.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) emailed Reuters and said it spoke with AppGratis before removing it from the App Store. The company also said that AppGratis did not follow its technical requirements for apps.
France has a history of pursuing Internet companies based in other countries. Earlier this year, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) said it would pay into a fund to enable the media in France to further develop their Internet presence. That agreement was reached instead of paying French publishers’ licensing fees for listing their headlines and article snippets in its search results.