French Senate okays tax on tech giants

France has accused Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple of paying insufficient income tax.
France has accused Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple of paying insufficient income tax.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS • The French Senate yesterday voted in favour of a controversial tax on revenue earned by technology giants such as Facebook, Amazon and Google, opening a new front in the trade spat between the United States and European Union.

The measure would levy a 3 per cent tax on certain revenue that major technology firms earn in France. It will not become law until signed by President Emmanuel Macron, who has expressed his support.

The vote in the Senate came just a day after US President Donald Trump announced a probe into the proposed law. Washington announced an investigation under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, which grants the President the power to impose retaliatory measures against US trading partners. This was the same measure that permitted the Trump administration to slam China with tariffs last year, though it has rarely been used against so close an ally.

SEE: France approves tax on big tech firms as Trump orders probe

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2019, with the headline 'French Senate okays tax on tech giants'. Print Edition | Subscribe