The logos of Gafa (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) on screens.
The logos of Gafa (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) on screens. (MAXPPP)

The discussions at the international level to establish a global tax on the web giants, the Gafa, having failed, France will go it alone. During this negotiation, which is being held within the framework of the OECD, France suspended its national tax. But, given that the 137 countries have not managed to find a compromise, it decides to return to its own tax, the one it had voted in July 2019. It takes 3% of the turnover that these companies achieve in France.

Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, confirmed this on Wednesday 25 November: the tax notices have indeed been sent for the payment of down payments due this year. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and the others are going to have to pay. Payment is expected in December …

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As soon as this tax was put in place, the United States considered it discriminatory and Donald Trump often threatened to increase customs duties on French products entering the United States.

The warning is taken very seriously by France, because Washington has already raised customs duties on French wines, for example. There, however, France is betting on a change of context, it hopes that with the arrival of Joe Biden, common ground will be possible with the US administration. What is not won, because the Democrat is the candidate of the tech firms, Biden will be tempted to defend their interests and fight this tax. Finally, Donald Trump can also carry out retaliatory measures within the 55 days remaining in the White House.

In 2019, when the French state introduced this French “Gafa tax” and collected it, 350 million euros had been pocketed, which is not huge. This year, it will surely be much more with the increase in online sales and the increase in internet traffic during lockdowns. But, beyond the money collected, it is above all a very strong political symbol. As Black Friday approaches, and after all the controversy surrounding Amazon, the government does not intend to spare the big winners from the crisis.

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