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France to levy new tax on ‘internet giants’


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France is becoming the first European country to introduce a tax on large, multi-national internet companies. Under a bill announced yesterday, digital companies will have to pay the new tax of 3% on their French revenues – but only if they have global revenues of more than €750m, and revenues in France of more than €25m.

Naturally, the headlines around this are focusing on the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon, although Spotify stands out as a candidate too – bearing in mind that as long ago as 2013 its French revenues were €18.75m.

The motivation behind the legislation appears to be a crackdown on the bigger tech companies, however, and the ongoing debate about how they pay their taxes around the world. “This is about justice. 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,” said French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, according to Associated Press.

Stuart Dredge

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