Backers of an EU-wide tax on high-tech giants have been asked by Brussels to keep pushing the proposal, which has stalled due to opposition from Ireland and Nordic countries.
France, backed by EU-presidency holder Austria, has been urging European Union partners to impose a new tax to ensure that global tech platforms like Facebook and Google pay their fair share.
As reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP), Paris argues the measure would be a vote-winning accomplishment for mainstream EU politicians before the European Parliament elections next May, in which anti-Brussels populists could do well.
“When it comes to taxation you need to push to make it happen. For me personally it’s a very important proposal,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told a news conference at the Web Summit, an annual teach gathering, in Lisbon.
“I do hope that the Austrians will keep the pressure to make this happen,” she said.
Digital firms pay on average just 9% in “effective taxation”, compared to an average of 23% for other firms, Europe’s antitrust chief said.
“When in a technological revolution, if it’s not to be a wild west, you must be willing to regulate it,” said Vestager.
In a separate report, the Reuters news agency noted that the European Commission in 2016 opened a third case when it accused Google of preventing third parties using its AdSense product from displaying search advertisements from Google’s competitors.
“We are approaching the end of that investigation,” Vestager told reporters at the Web Summit in Lisbon when asked for an update on the investigation.
Google has denied the charges.