France has just introduced a 3% tax on major tech companies. Those hit hardest will be Facebook, Google and Amazon. These American companies brought their ingenious products to Europe, gaining strong followings. Now, the overly indebted governments of Europe, led by France, are itching to get their hands on tech cash.
This isn’t the first attempt at taxing tech companies in Europe, and it won’t be the last. Elizabeth Schulze reports for CNBC:
An EU-backed effort to pass a 3 percent tax on the revenues of big internet companies failed last year amid concerns from countries including Ireland and Germany, who feared retaliation from the U.S. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is currently examining a global digital tax but has said it won’t come to a conclusion until 2020.
France’s Le Maire has been an outspoken proponent of a digital tax, arguing Google, Amazon and Facebook benefit from lower tax rates than European companies. The French minister has said France would withdraw its own tax once the OECD reaches an agreement.
Other countries including the U.K., Germany and Spain are also working on their own digital tax measures.
The French tax would apply to companies that generate worldwide revenues on their digital services of at least 750 million euros ($847 million), with 25 million euros ($28 million) from within France.
Singling out American tech companies for punishment is the just the sort of detrimental government action that has held back Europe for generations. With policies like these, is it any wonder that America has Silicon Valley, and France has 9.3% unemployment?