France has warned the European Union that it will impose its own taxes on US internet giants next year if the bloc does not present a deal by March 2019.
“I am giving myself until March to reach a deal on a European tax on the digital giants,” French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told France 2 television on December 6. “If the European states do not take their responsibilities on taxing the GAFA, we will do it at a national level in 2019.”
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, France has said it will start taxing Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, the big US technology companies known as GAFA, if European Union finance ministers fail to agree on a bloc-wide digital tax next year.
France, backed by Germany, had proposed a comprehensive digital services tax (DST) to cover all 28 EU member states.
Ireland, however, vetoed the move, raising concerns that it would create further tension between US-EU trade relations.
France and Germany then presented an alternative plan at a meeting of EU finance ministers on December 4. They called for a 3% tax on digital advertising from Google and Facebook, which together account for about 75 percent of digital advertising, starting in 2021.
According to The French government is under pressure from a wide-ranging protest movement which began in opposition to fuel tax increases but has since spread to other grievances. On Wednesday, the government announced it was scrapping the fuel tax that had been due to come into force next month.