France will impose a tax on big tech companies starting next year in 2019 after European Union current efforts to enact a bloc-wide tax on tech giants have been stalled in Brussels and Strassbourg. French Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said that the tax on companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon will bring in more than $500 million in revenue.
While in the EU, both France and Germany have proposed a union-wide comprehensive digital services tax for all 28 official member states. However, member state countries, where the tech industry is on the rise such as Ireland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Finland, have opposed this measure due to possible increases in U.S.-European trade tensions and that it would violate international economic laws and regulations on equal treatment for companies globally. All EU tax reforms must be approved by all 28 member states.
France’s tech giant tax introduction comes in at a moment where one of the continent’s most powerful countries is facing civil unrests over a gas tax to combat climate change. Because of the Gilets Jaunes protests or yellow vests movement that has spread across the country, French President Emmanuel Macron has scrapped the controversial gas tax and is planning to raise the minimum wage as well as tax cuts for elderly pensioners.
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