The French want to tax Google and Facebook

Posted on January 11, 2010


In the UK we generally feel that we pay enough tax. Car owners for example have to pay tax when they buy a car, tax when they buy petrol and tax to use the car on the road. We’re all taxed out.

Luckily UK taxes don’t extend to Google and Facebook, but officials in France are looking at taxing revenues earned by these companies online, if that is even possible. The French government wants to tax ad revenues that companies such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo earn online through their advertisements, but only in France.

The government believes that the money they earn from taxing Google and co could be used to provide funds for alternatives to users finding films, music and books online.

However, just how the tax could be implemented is hard to say, as critics of the idea have already expressed.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, has implemented tough crackdowns on those who download illegal content online. France has also decided to challenge Google with its digital books plans by launching a system of its own, costing £700 million of public money in France.

Naturally, Google isn’t too keen on the idea and Google France’s Olivier Esper believes that a tax could even be counterproductive:

We don’t think introducing an additional tax on internet advertising is the right way forward as it could slow down innovation.

The better way to support content creation is to find new business models that help consumers find great content and rewards artists and publishers for their work.


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