France will take legal action against Google and Apple for "abusive business practices", Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday as transatlantic ties threaten to be driven by a trade war.

"I believe in an economy based on justice and I will take Google and Apple before the Paris Commercial Court for abusive business practices against French start-ups," Le Maire said.

He said start-ups face conditions imposed on them when selling their apps on Google and Apple which "also gather data" and "both can unilaterally modify contracts".

The minister said the situation is unacceptable.

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"I consider that Google and Apple, as powerful as they are, shouldn't treat our start-ups and our developers in the way they do today," said Le Maire.

The action against the firms comes as US President Donald Trump has moved towards imposing a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% tariff on imports of aluminium.

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