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France

Tax on digital giants to apply from January 1

Politico, Dec 18

A French tax on digital giants including Google and Facebook will enter into force on January 1, 2019, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire announced Monday.

The government, which lobbied unsuccessfully for a pan-European "digital tax," hopes the levy will bring €500 million per year into state coffers.

Le Maire previously said that France would wait until March, 2019, before imposing a national tax to allow time for a possible Europe-wide tax.

But in an interview given on Sunday, following weeks of protests by the gilets jaunes movement, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the government was ready to act sooner.

The expected intake would help to offset the cost of measures taken to assuage the yellow vest protesters.

France's tax will be modelled closely after the European Commission's proposal, which was heavily influenced by Paris.

Le Maire said that revenues generated "by advertising, platforms and the selling of personal data" would be targeted.

A law could be included in a bill on modernising the economy which is currently in discussion — known as the "PACTE" law — but there are other legislative options, the finance minister added.

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