The French economy minister on Wednesday unveiled his proposal for a new tax on digital giants from Google to Uber.
The 3% revenue tax—known locally as the “GAFA” tax after the initials for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon—would apply to tech companies that sell digital products from third parties, traffic in user data or sell digital advertising, and that pull in global annual revenues above €750 million ($848 million) and French revenues above €25 million.
That covers around 30 companies. The economy ministry hopes to raise some €500 million a year through the new measure—the new tax would be on top of the taxes the firms already pay in France.
Of course, the amount of tax such companies pay in France is the issue here. As things stand, the big tech companies are able to report their EU revenues in any EU country. Naturally, they tend to opt for the countries with the most favorable rates, such as Ireland and Luxembourg. And with those countries getting investment from attracting companies in this way, the EU’s member states have been unable to agree on a common digital tax policy, despite France’s urging—which is why France is now likely to go it alone.