France unveils plan to tax internet giants revenue

About 30 companies, mostly based from the U.S, but also from China and Europe, will be affected.

6 March 2019 | 13:37

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 6 March 2019 | 13:37

In this Jan.31, 2019 file photo, a trunk full of fake bank notes is displayed as activists from anti-globalization organisation Attac stage a protest at Google's Paris headquarters to criticize the company's tax evasion policies, in Paris. (AP Photo)

PARIS: The French government unveiled plans Wednesday to slap a 3 percent tax on the French revenues of internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

The bill outlines how digital companies with worldwide revenues over 750 million euros ($848 million), including French revenue over 25 million euros, will be taxed.

In a news conference in Paris Wednesday, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire estimated the tax will raise about 500 million euros a year this year but that should increase “quickly.”

About 30 companies, mostly based from the U.S, but also from China and Europe, will be affected.

Le Maire said the tax will not affect those companies directly selling their own products online.

“This is about justice”, Le Maire said.

“These digital giants use our personal data, make huge profits out of these data ... then transfer the money somewhere else without paying their fair amount of taxes.”

Le Maire quoted figures from the European commission, the EU executive body, showing that digital giants pay on average 14 percentage points less tax than other European companies.

France decided to implement it after a similar proposal at the European Union level failed to get unanimous support from member states.

Le Maire said he would now push for an international deal by the end of the year at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a Paris-based forum made up mostly of developed nations.

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