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France to Introduce Tax on Big US Tech Firms in January

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France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies like Google and Apple from January 1, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday amid difficulties in finalising a new EU-wide levy.

France has been pushing hard for a new so-called “GAFA tax” — named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon — to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.

“The tax will be introduced whatever happens on January 1 and it will be for the whole of 2019 for an amount that we estimate at 500 million euros
($570 million),” Le Maire told a press conference in Paris.

The low tax rates paid by US tech giants in Europe has repeatedly caused anger among voters in many European countries but the 28-member bloc is divided on how to tackle the issue.

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