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Italian lawmakers back 'Google tax' in 2014 budget

Published on Dec 20, 2013 9:35 PM

ROME (AFP) - Italy's parliament approved a controversial law on Friday forcing tech giants like Google to sell advertising online only through Italian intermediaries, provoking anger from digital economy experts.

The new law is part of the 2014 budget and is a watered-down version of a bill that would have imposed sales tax on all e-commerce activities in Italy and now applies only to the sale of advertising space.

The measure - dubbed "Google tax" or "web tax" by the Italian press - comes into force on Jan 1.

The measure is believed the first of its kind in Europe and could boost the tax bill for tech giants who currently sell advertising through intermediaries based in states with lower taxes like Ireland of Luxembourg.

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