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US launches inquiry into French plan to tax tech giants (bbc.co.uk)
55 points by Isofarro 6 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 93 comments





Quite funny of the US to complain about protectionism. I guess that's the paradox attached to it. When you do it it's fine, when someone else does it and you're affected, suddenly it's "discriminatory". Well yeah it's always been discriminatory in nature.

They make a profit somewhere, they pay their taxes, period. Those loopholes need to be closed.


> They make a profit somewhere, they pay their taxes, period.

So, if I — as a danish citizen — make money from someone in France, I should pay taxes to both the Danish and French government?


Even with recent tariffs, US tariffs are still generally low, it's hardly a poster child for "protectionism", the EU has other barriers in addition to tariffs and much of it is due to french protectionism.

If you think that these "loopholes" should be closed then close them for all companies and countries, don't enact discriminatory laws and then act indignant about it.


> the EU has higher tariffs

The estimated trade weighted average of tariffs by the US after the tariff announcements in 2017 was 2.2%. I couldn't find any more recent number. [1]

For the EU this appears to be around 1.8% (2017). [2]

It is true that the EU used to have higher tariffs though, but I don't think this is still true with the new, recent tariffs by the US.

You can find the old number of 1.7% by the US in the second link I provided.

In any case those numbers are still low. The US was at 2.3% and the EU at 3% in 2015. [3]

[1]: http://www.iberglobal.com/files/2018/Trade-Wars_CPB.pdf Page 10

[2]: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/tm.tax.mrch.wm.ar.zs

[3]: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44291103


Always nice to have data instead of opinion on these sort of topics.

While we are on this subject, and since I agree wholeheartedly with what you said, let's give another exemple where fact and numbers are more important than generalisation and opinions: a big contention point about tariff between EU/US was cars, and how the US claimed EU had a larger tariff than the US, while the numbers actually showed the US imposed a bigger tariff on average due to the trick of calling some cars "light truck" and putting truck tariff on them.

US argument: "Europe taxes American cars 10%, while America taxes European cars 2%."

Which seems true, when you look at the actual EU/US tariff numbers: US: 25% tariff on trucks, 2.5% on cars EU: 22% on trucks, 10 % on cars

Quote from [1]:

> But when you look in details at the numbers, you realize that most of what is sold in the US, that is considered as car in the EU, is put in the trucks category in the US, by being called "light truck".

> In the US there are twice as many "light trucks" sold compared to "cars". Light trucks are pickups, SUVs, minivans. Those are just "cars" in Europe.

> EU import fees are 10% on cars (hatchbacks and SUVs alike). US import fees are 2.5% on cars and 25% on light trucks.

> Average car price in the US is $26k, average light truck price is $36k.

> Therefore, if you care for math, average duty on combined US car+light truck market is 19%, nearly double of the EU rate!

Trade, tariff and the likes are complex matters, but ultimately they're also just numbers, so when in doubt, run the numbers.

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/europe/comments/8vaqdi/trump_on_tra...


IIRC, this blatant miscategorization of vehicles is what ultimately killed the Mini Clubman Panel van from being a possible thing in the United States (in addition to it being a supremely weird vehicle.)

The US strong protectionism is not through tariffs but through tax incentives, targeted investments hidden as national security contracts and things like "buy american" acts.

Just because you dress it up doesn't change what it actually is.


And when the US can't manage to protect the industry with tariffs, they just put foreign people straight in prison as economic hostages like they did with Alstom.

Are you litigating the boeing v airbus thing? didn't the WTO rule that airbus is receiving billions in illegal subsidies?

And are you suggesting that france doesn't subside specific industries?

If you're complaints are exclusive to the aviation and defence industries then a US complaint regarding the EU and france could include that and every other industry.


"The World Trade Organization appeals panel today upheld European claims that Boeing received billions of dollars in illegal tax breaks and subsidies from the US Department of Defense, Washington State, Kansas and South Carolina."

https://leehamnews.com/2019/03/28/wto-appeals-court-rules-ag...


AFAIK the case against Boeing is still open. Arguably Airbus is getting direct subsidies (WTO ruling) while Boeing seems to get pampered by overpriced defense contracts which has the same result more or less (no WTO ruling yet). Conclusion is nobody is innocent, just guilty in different ways.

"EU paid Airbus billions in illegal subsidies, WTO rules" https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44120525

WTO confirms US failed to fully comply over Boeing subsidies https://phys.org/news/2019-03-wto-fully-comply-boeing-subsid...

1-1


Imagine if Airbus was not there, there would be no safe plane to do short-haul.

Nonsense. Plenty of 717, non-Max 737, MD-88, MD-90, and E170/175/190/195 out there.

True, didn't check but I think the case against Boeing brought foward by the EU is still open. Not sure if memory serves well.

I did not write a single word or hint about any of the things you listed, I didn't even have them on my mind. You are 100% projecting.

"The US strong protectionism is not through tariffs but through tax incentives, targeted investments hidden as national security contracts and things like "buy american" acts."

what fraction of GDP is that? 1-5%? Europe semi public enterprises have a much bigger weight. Banking, energy, postal services, transport, telecommunications were until recent national monopolies and protecting domestic champions is still a matter of national interest.


Did you mention postal services? You mean like US, where only USPS has the right to put mail into your mailbox... and it's a federal criminal offense for anyone else to deliver mail into your mailbox?

US has a trade deficit with France. So potentially there is more to loose for France in case of a trade war: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c4279.html

And generally speaking the US has a trade deficit with Europe: https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/europe-middle-east/europe...

My understanding of the economic system between the US and the world is that other countries support the US dollar by using it for trade, and that the US in turn is able to print a lot of US dollars that can be used by american consumers to buy goods from the world.

Could other countries retaliate to US trade tariffs by dedollarizing trade?


The EU already does a fair amount of trade in euro.

Also, it's important to understand that for France this is a very important issue of fairness. Not just for political gain, but at the street level. We are one of the best countries in the world in terms of change between income inequality pre and post tax redistribution (meaning while we're not terrible but not great either in terms of income inequality pre taxes, post taxes and redistribution we jump to one of the best overall).

This law is not anti US (again like in my other comment: 11 of the 26 companies that fit the criterias are not from the US, several are EU based, and 4 are even french), it's merely making sure each pay (what wes believe to be) their fair share compared to the value they extract, and thus finally acting on the loophole that is "everyone knows and act like data is all the value / tax agencies should act like data has no value whatsoever so it can leave without being taxed".

It's not even a move against the weird licencing trick "à la" Starbucks or anything like that, it's merely a tax on data extracted. Either it has value, and it should be taxed, or it doesn't (or not enough) and then it's fairly easy to stop extracting it.


I wasnt trying to defend the US position. I actually think the position of France makes sense.

I just wanted to present a strategic view of the situation. At this level, its not really a matter of who is right, and more of who has the power to do what.


Not sure I agree with the analysis, at least on France.

France's top exports to the US are aircraft parts and beverages (wine).

Since the US needs those parts to export the (assembled) planes, I think the aircraft lobby (e.g. Boeing) will press hard to prevent a tariff here because it'd raise rates across the board, so that leaves wine: My hunch is even a 100% tariff on wine is unlikely to dissuade anyone from purchasing French wine -- the American wine is better, so the only people buying it are people who really wanted French wine anyway oh là là.

I don't know yet what I think about a trade war with all of Europe though.


Lol at 'American wine is better'. It sure feels nice to pay $17 for a much-touted fancy bottle that turns out to be meh at best when in the States. Meanwhile you could just pick anything at random for like 3€ in any French or Italian grocery store and still get something decent. I probably didn't try everything the land of the free has to offer but this offside remark really makes me wonder what is considered good there.

By no means am I a wine connoisseur, but having just returned from France with a bevy of wine snobs who enjoy French wine (and were hoping for their success) -- this theory, as tested, did not hold true.

I purchased a handful of cheapo bottles (in the 3-8 euro range) from Franprix as a surprise to my wine-loving friends, hid the bottles from them and prepared blind tastings for them, only to discover that they regarded even the best of them to be undrinkable.

Perhaps this is simply due to a discrepancy between French and American palates? Perhaps Franprix is a bad place to buy wines? Perhaps a lot of things, but the notion that any $3 wine in France is universally regarded as 'decent' is not one I can vouch for.


> Perhaps Franprix is a bad place to buy wines?

In Paris yes it’s a bad place but in the producing regions they can have a nice local selection.

> $3 wine in France is universally regarded as 'decent' is not one I can vouch for.

You are right, even higher priced wines are hit or miss. Choosing wine in France is very complicated, compared to the US where price is a good taste indicator. But you can definitely find very good $3-5 bottles in France.


I'm not familiar enough with the US but I don't think you'd find any French wine there.

From my experience in the UK, none of the French wines I could find in supermarkets exist in France. They appear to be specifically made for export and they are priced double or triple what a comparable bottle would be sold in France.

Given the US is a hell further than the UK, that's probably even worse, stranger wines and more pricey.


Thanks for this precision. Knowing this detail about aircraft parts seems to change the dynamic though.

I have to disagree with one point though:

“American wine is better than French wine....” (gulp!).


A certain amount of that is certainly tongue-in-cheek. I think if you compare a $20 wine in California to a €10 wine you buy somewhere along the Garonne, you're probably going to enjoy the French wine more.

But we're talking about what changes buying-behaviour, and it's important to consider that as a savvy shopper in the US you can go into a wine shop and buy everything under $20, and you'll find local wins. That's how you anchor your expectations about prices and quality. Now whether that's because of duty/import or it's because of shipping, or it's simply because only big brands will bother exporting is, or any other reason, those reasons are out of scope simply because a tariff isn't going to change them in the slightest.


For reference, French wine in France can be had for 3 or 4 euros a 75 cl bottle.

That's for good wine. There are cheaper wines available of course.

If you're saying $20, you must be talking about a 6 pack ;)


> For reference, French wine in France can be had for 3 or 4 euros a 75 cl bottle.

This legend about french cheap wine is getting better and better everytime I hear it. 3-4€ is the low price for wine in a bottle. Some are decent, some are utter shit. But that's not "for good wine". That's entry level, which sometimes is decent.

I know some of the export wine is cooking-grade shit and people don't know the difference. But for people versed in wine in the US, the €3-4 bottles aren't going to cut it.


I don't know how it is in a WallMart in the US but in a French Carrefour there can be a 20 meter long aisle dedicated to wines and spirituous, possibly both sides of the aisle.

That's a huge selection covering all types of wine for as little as a few euros. Price is not a predictor of anything, there are both good and bad wines all over the place.

Wine is truly a commodity in France. There are very few people paying 10€ a bottle unless you're talking Champagne, that's not considered a wine.

edit: See for yourself https://www.carrefour.fr/r/boissons-et-cave-a-vins/cave-a-vi...


I am french. I know the supermarkets, and still I frequently buy bottles above 10€. My demographic is not small, there are just many people that can't afford storage space for bottles and don't want to buy entry-level wine.

Maybe white wine, but reds? Euch Merlot ...

EDIT though I do like a nice Zinfandel, the sheer range offered by the French producers is unmatched.


I might have to try more american wine before making a definite opinion. Where are the best wine produced in america? California?

>>the American wine is better

By what objective metric?


> the American wine is better,

Californian wine due to the drought has much higher alcohol %s in recent years.

This does impact the taste, and it's not all good.


As I see it, France may benefit from its trade with the US because it has a global trade deficit so the extra dollars from America can be used to buy, say, oil from the Gulf. But for Germany and for EU as a whole (or China etc), the surplus dollars will probably never be used to buy anything useful so these exports look like a tribute offered to US.

the trade deficit is rather small though and France could easily make up for it through additional taxes.

Trade balances aren't really a good measure of who is winning and losing. The more trade, the bigger the welfare gains. Shutting trade in order to close a trade deficit is bad policy. I understand that Trump uses that threat in order to get more favourable terms for the domestic producers, but I am sure he's aware of the mutual damage of blocking trade altogether.

> Countries including France and the UK have accused firms of routing some profits through low-tax EU member states such as Ireland and Luxembourg.

This seems to be the problem. The EU laws have allowed these companies to avoid taxes. Small countries just next to France (Luxembourg) are able to help these companies. But France will not go against these countries and instead try to handle things through taxes.

I don't think this will workout greatly for France. France solution to everything seems to be: "Put a tax on it". The EU needs to get its crap together.

I don't like Tariffs. But if you worked internationally you should know that the US is one of the most open countries when it comes to doing business. You can open a company, a bank account, get a tax ID, buy shares in US companies, trade, etc...


The UK accuses firms of routing profits through low-tax EU member states?

Did they mention Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man + Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Turks and Caicos Islands?

Well, I suppose they aren't EU member states, carry on.


Same with France: Monaco. That's why I said they got to get their shit together.

Monaco is not part of France.

> But France will not go against these countries and instead try to handle things through taxes.

France cannot change Luxembourg's business model (help tax evasion in neighboring countries, live off of EU subsidies), it has no jurisdiction there. They can change their tax code though.


Get a bank account? If you are not a US resident, good luck with that. And i dont know what a company will be good for without a bank account.

As for buying shares in the US, there is a 30pct tax for non-resident alien.


>The EU laws have allowed these companies to avoid taxes

It's the lack thereof. Regulators / Lawmakers aren't paid thousands by the hour to find and cover loopholes, and also cannot see the future. Unlike a Google, who is willing to pay someone millions to find loophole. It's a one-sided battle that giant corporations will always win.

>I don't think this will workout greatly for France. France solution to everything seems to be: "Put a tax on it". The EU needs to get its crap together.

EU or France, which is it? This initiative is coming out of France, not the EU. What did the EU do wrong this time? Did you forget that the EU is what enables these corporations to easily enter and seamlessly expand within one of the largest shared economies? If it wasn't for the EU, the work companies would have to expand would exponentially increase, due to many different regulations, taxation, tariffs, etc.

You are somehow using the protectionist actions of a member of the EU to paint the EU as the roadblock/point of incompetence, when really it does the exact opposite.


>>> buy shares in US companies

That is not quite correct actually.

You have to pay US taxes on US shares, doesn't matter where you are. They can be quite high, something like 30% of yearly profit. Then you have to pay local taxes too, that can be significant as well.

This makes US shares non viable for most Europeans. The double taxation makes them worthless.


You have to file a federal tax return to get an ITIN in US. And there's a lot of taxes that US leverages...

National sovereignty versus globalisation again. Is it reasonable for a company to make profits from customers in a country and then not pay that country's profit-based taxes?

(Also, the US trying to bully France on this one is unlikely to go well, that tends to trigger a French nationalist response.)


It's not reasonable. But it sure is profitable.

To be frank, a 3% tax is too little too late.

We still hope to get it turned into a global EU thing rather than each of us bickering with its own ten of a percent competition over who gets screwed up more. But several EU countries are not on board, so we're taking baby steps, mostly aiming to prove that it does work and no those tech giants will not leave the french market (or if they do, yes someone else will rise in place).

Agreed, I applaud France to take a first step in the right direction.

I wonder about the US response. Because they themselves also get shortchanged by the same companies, yet still doing their legwork, in this case by bullying France.

Why doesn't the US tell Google to go complain to Bermuda, and implement a comparable tax themselves? And apply it to all corporation evading US corporate taxes while using US infrastructure? (big pharma)

(The answer, of course is nationalism and corporate money in US politics)


Well, its a start. Maybe other countries will see that its not the end of the world to tax big companies and follow suit.

It's a start, once it exists the gov can change the rate. And it will perhaps lead to similar laws in Europe.

It's easier to get it accepted with a small rate. Later on it can be increased.

funny how people feels supportive of some companies based on very loose national links. If you think companies have a national interest at heart (I will make an exception for Chinese), I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you.

If I'm not mistaken the UK is planning to enact a similar tax as well

I guess we'll get the usual response of the US trying to bring France to its knees by putting tariffs on wine and cheese.

They have different pressure means on France now, like what they did about Alstom which is a strategic company for France (they produce essential elements about nuclear plants, nuclear submarines for example) now in the US hand through General Electric.

France has a robust nationalization laws, btw. If US becomes belligerent enough, Alstom may be taken away from GE.

Correct me if I'm wrong but GE bought the energy/grid part of the company, not the infrastructure/transportation part.

The turbines production is now under GE

The US can continue to bully everyone around them, but one day there will be no friends left and while the US is starting a trade war (or even an actual war) with friends and enemies other nations will strengthen their relations and the power balance will shift eventually.

China has been on track to overtake the US as the largest economy for many years now. The US obviously feels threatened by the shift of economic powers and currently tries every thing they can to prevent this from happening, but it's going to happen regardless. China has a stable country, a hard working population, people feel content and the government is looking after its people despite what Western media is reporting. The Western world is increasingly becoming divided, fueled by capitalist greed, social media which is anything but "social", huge wealth disparities, racism and many other deep ingrained problems. The US might complain about other nations spying, etc., but it is the US and the NSA who has been the only nation which has been proven black on white that they have been grossly spying on everyone else in this world, it is the US which is the only nation which is constantly starting wars with other nations and destabilising economies. It's not China, nor France, nor the EU.

I can only recommend anyone in the US to go and visit other nations and explore the world and it becomes very quickly apparent that the Western world has some deep issues which other countries seem to be much better in control of. If entire freedom of everything means that people live divided, in poverty, exploited, plagued by suicide, mental health issues, obesity and mass shootings, then maybe the way the West has shaped in the last 50 years is not all that great which everyone wants us to believe.

Other countries have other issues, but honestly, after being to many many other places and far East I can only say that these problems look minor in comparison to what I observe in the West.


I don't stricly disagree (nor agree) with your comment, but there are several thing that you include as "a global grave issue of the western world" in general but is actually very US-centric. When I look at the list you give, "people live divided, in poverty, exploited, plagued by suicide, mental health issues, obesity and mass shootings", it's not that those issues don't exists in other countries, but in the western world the US has that strange habit of always exhibiting the most extreme form, and frankly to not look like it's working and making any advance at fixing them.

> frankly to not look like it's working and making any advance at fixing them.

yes and no. It appears that nothing is done to prevent or fix since mainstream media do not report anything. The US has the largest number of doctors of "functional medicine", which contrary to the rest, seek to find the root causes of disease, and many times find them and restore health with supplements, probiotics, life style changes and toxin avoidance. For the hardliners that deny functional medicine, I recommend to read about the full story of Dr Terry Wahls. TL;DR a professor with the best treatment for MS by many top doctors deteriorated to being in a wheelchair and she cured herself by reading the scientific literature, understanding the whole body and doing a different treatment. She now treats MS patients who who has heard of her? So fixes exist but are unknown.


The US is a much more diverse population and a much larger population. It's going to be more chaotic than anything the Europeans have to deal with.

But dealing with that chaos, at that scale, produces lessons and learning that won't happen anywhere else, other than probably India.


>The US is a much more diverse population...

Why is this always a fallback reference point? It is demonstrably false[0,1,2,3] and is continually regurgitated - as if the continued repetition would make it consequently true. There are countries in Europe that are far more diverse than the United States. Full stop.

>But dealing with that chaos, at that scale, produces lessons and learning that won't happen anywhere else, other than probably India.

You could start with your immediate neighbours, yeah? Canada and Mexico are both far more diverse than the United States and would - by your own argument - be far more chaotic than anything the United States or Europe has to deal with, yeah?

[0] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_ranked_by_et...

[1] - https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/07/18/the-most-an...

[2] - https://www.atlasandboots.com/worlds-most-diverse-country/

[3] - https://archive.fo/9AV1K


Just point at the data. The extra layer of attitude doesn't sell your argument, but just distracts from it.

Sort the first table by rank US - 87 UK -109 France - 117 Germany - 148. When we talk about the West who else is anyone referring to? Denmark - 144. Norway - 146.

My comment is in response to someone separating the US from the west, not US compared to the rest of the world. So don't be in such a hurry to react.

The data shows the US is more diverse than other western countries.

Population is another important factor. What happens in a city of 10 million people and what happens in a country of 10 million people is very different. I come from India and have lived in both the US and Europe. My city has a population somewhere between Ireland and Norway but it's impossible to handle social issues the way those countries do or use them as models precisely because of the population density and diversity.


Belgium(65) and Switzerland(63) are definitely western world.

>Just point at the data. The extra layer of attitude doesn't sell your argument, but just distracts from it.

I gave you the data, you did a cursory look over it, cherry-picked the data points you wanted, and then continued on with your belief that you are correct.

If you take offense to my frustrations at having heard this for the three-thousandth time, then I do apologise but this tired, old cliche is burning itself out faster than a B1 in a binary system.

>Sort the first table by rank US - 87 UK -109 France - 117 Germany - 148. When we talk about the West who else is anyone referring to? Denmark - 144. Norway - 146.

...and...

>The data shows the US is more diverse than other western countries.

From the exact same table that you referenced: Bosnia and Herzegovina - 41, Latvia - 61, Switzerland - 63, Belgium - 65, Estonia - 77, Moldova - 78, Spain - 82

Now back to:

>When we talk about the West who else is anyone referring to?

From a non-American exceptionalism perspective, when we mention the west we are generally speaking about the countries that make up the western world, not just the United States, yeah? ...or we can even go so far as to say countries that have been directly influenced by or have direct political affiliations with countries in the Western Hemisphere. ...or if you want to go Soviet-era, the west could just be any country that has any form of democracy.

>The data shows the US is more diverse than other western countries.

It does not, as the data I originally referenced proves. Even limited to just the Northern and Western Hemispheres, Canada and Mexico are far more diverse and have cities that are just as densely populated.

>My city has a population somewhere between Ireland and Norway but it's impossible to handle social issues the way those countries do or use them as models precisely because of the population density and diversity.

This makes no sense. They all have forms of representative democracies, county governments, city governments, etc. Why do you believe it's "easier" for these areas to handle social issues and that it comes down to the sole factor of diversity and/or population density...? Do you honestly believe that differences do not exist in the political spectrum in homogeneous areas? Are you not aware that there have been periods where countries didn't have official governments for this reason (e.g.: Ireland and Sweden)?


You posts paints a false dichotomy between US and China.

The "West" never existed. There are hundreds of languages, cultures and paths in history.

Your criticism of "poverty, exploited, plagued by suicide, mental health issues, obesity and mass shootings" is grounded in reality but you framed it in a completely one-sided way.


> It's not China, nor France, nor the EU

Dont disagree, but this comes part and parcel with being a global superpower. When USSR was alive, we had 2 of them.


Shouldn't be a long inquiry, this tax is textbook discriminatory trade barrier.

If you look at EU policy as france and germany protecting their perceived interests by targeting US tech companies it starts making sense, I think a rule of thumb there is: "if it hurts google it should be law".


> by targeting US tech companies

It does not. In a preliminary evaluation, there are 26 companies that would match the criterias, 11 are not americans, 4 of them (that's 1/6th) are even french companies to begin with.

• Vente de biens: Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Ebay, Google, Groupon, Rakuten, Schibsted, Wish, Zalando.

• Intermédiaire de services: Amadeus, Axel Springer, Booking, Expedia, Match.com, Randstad, Recruit, Sabre, Travelport Worldwide, Tripadvisor, Uber.

• Publicité en ligne: Amazon, Criteo, Ebay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Verizon.

The point is to catch up with something everyone else has figured out: that the value is in the users data. Investors have caught up to it and acted on it, so did VC, so did companies, so did everyone ... Except governments. If the data is what you extract your value from, then it should be normal that it is what you are taxed on.


If Axel Springer is taxed on board. I'd sign the law with my own blood if it brings them into financial ruin.

And Criteo too, they're the forgotten Data-kraken of Europe. Just go watch their Marketing Material!


If my math is correct then most of the companies are American, and by far most of the potential revenue.

Considering the rhetoric leading to this tax and the french government's many raids and failed investigations into US companies and their taxes it's difficult even with careful wording for the french government to deny the actual target of this tax in a WTO type setting.


For tax purposes most of those companies aren't even American. Apple, Alphabet's subsidiaries, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. are companies registered in Ireland or Luxembourg, or the likes.

Maybe the US should be targeting those companies, too. I don't think you can really say a multinational still is or acts "American", even if a majority of its employees and its owners are.

Call it discriminatory if you want.

They have been playing the system using different tax evasion schemes. France makes a law to force them to pay their fair due.


> by targeting US tech companies

It's targeting tech giants, not US companies. "Any digital company with revenue of more than €750m - of which at least €25m is generated in France"


[flagged]


While the law seems clearly to be targeted at US tech giants, why do you say it's discriminatory?

> "Any digital company with revenue of more than €750m - of which at least €25m is generated in France"

That sounds pretty non-discriminatory.


11 of the 26 companies that fit the criterias are not american to begin with.

Just showing your patriotism does not add much value to this thread.

If you want to have a meaningful contribution, you should use facts and logical reasoning.


The OP provided facts. Now is setting a certain threshold discriminatory, no idea. One interesting data point would be the percentage of US tech giants in total compared to those that fall under the proposed tax. If they are overrepresented it might be discriminatory, if not much less so.

How do you tax an industry if said industry is majoritarily composed of US companies without it being flagged as discriminatory ? If we look at it the other way it would mean US companies have a free pass.

So... Spotify and Microsoft are one single industry? That's an interesting definition, buddy.

And don;t forget that only the French sourced revenue is taxed.


Might not be the same industry per say but the sources of revenue overlap. Facebook and Amazon are obviously different services, they both make insane amount of money through ads, most of which escape taxes.

The law is directed to companies fitting these criteria:

- advertisement (Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Ebay, Google, Groupon, Rakuten, Schibsted, Wish, Zalando.)

- sale of personal data (Amadeus, Axel Springer, Booking, Expedia, Match.com, Randstad, Recruit, Sabre, Travelport Worldwide, Tripadvisor, Uber.)

- intermediary platforms (Amazon, Criteo, Ebay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Verizon)

Don't forget that most of these companies abuse the system to avoid paying tax in most EU countries, for example airbnb paid something like 70k of tax in 2015 in France (a top google engineer would pay more tax than the whole airbnb business), because the only french based airbnb entity was a sub company which was used as an intermediary between France and Ireland. Of course it's in their interest/right to use as many loopholes as they legally can, but I don't see why France wouldn't update their tax laws to close of few of these loopholes and accommodate these new business model / business practices.


I'm always amused about myself regarding my stance on these things. On the one hand I am totally supporting the closure of these loop holes because they are unfair and put ultimately an exaggerated tax load on the working population. Not a goid thing when we are still stuck with a system that provides less work for people due to automation but still relies on taxing work and salaries. On the other hand I cannot blame companies profiting from them. And it is not just tech giants, every major European corp. is dojng the exact same thing. And if, as an example, grocery chains are not following Amazon's model of just providing services to a selling entity based in a third country I consider that to be their fault. To be honest I have a plan to use Estonia and the Netherlands in something similar if it comes to fruition. Would I fight to keep the loop holes open? No, because I prefer a level playing field. Would I refuse to profit from them as long as they are there in a legal way? Absolutely not, why would I give up an advantage, a legal one non the less, if I don't have to.

And I think the impact isn't even that big for the "abusers". I have the impression that this kind of company is so optimized and thinking in a way that once the tax advantage goes they will still be much more competitive than companies currently not profiting from said loop holes.


Not sure which fact you are referring to.

“This is discriminatory ...” is a statememt, not a fact.




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