Google, Facebook and Amazon will testify against France’s digital tax next week, according to a Wednesday report from Reuters. On July 12, the French Senate approved a 3% tariff on big tech companies providing services to French users, with the Trump administration at the time saying it would investigate whether the move amounts to unfair trade practices by discriminating against US companies.
The digital tax affects companies that make at least €750 million in revenue worldwide — around $844 million — as well as €25 million in digital sales in France. The US investigation into France’s new rules will be conducted by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. It’ll be a 301 probe, the same kind that led to tariffs being placed on China last year.
Amazon, Facebook and Google told Reuters that the French tax could cause problems for their respective business models. The Information Technology Industry Council, which represents Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google and others, will testify Monday that the tax is “a troubling precedent,” according to the report.
“The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate … unfairly targets American companies,” Lighthizer said in a statement last month. “The president has directed that we investigate the effects of this legislation and determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce.”
The UK first announced a similar digital tax last October. At the time, the UK Government’s Economic and Finance Ministry tweeted that the tax was meant for tech giants to shoulder, not tech startups.
The companies didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
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