“Europe is zeroing in on U.S. tech companies amid rising trans-Atlantic trade tensions,” Natalia Drozdiak and Sam Schechner report for The Wall Street Journal. “France on Wednesday petitioned to fine Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL 1.24%▲ Google for allegedly taking advantage of smaller French software developers. A complaint filed by the finance ministry asked a Paris court to order the companies to end ‘abusive commercial practices.'”

“In Brussels, the European Union next week plans to announce two new legislative proposals to increase taxes on tech giants,” Drozdiak and Schechner report. “Although the EU has been working on the new rules since last year, the announcement of the proposals, which will hit squarely at the U.S.’s largest tech firms, comes as tensions between Brussels and Washington have escalated over trade.”

“The commission wants to account for virtual operations, such as targeted advertisements a search-engine sells using data collected in a country where it has no permanent establishment. As part of the EU’s tax package, it will likely tax tech firms’ revenue, as opposed to profit,” Drozdiak and Schechner report. “France has led the push to increase taxes on the tech companies, calling on the commission to propose the short-term measures. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and others argue that tech giants use legal loopholes to shift too much profit to low-tax jurisdictions, and that Europe must tax revenue instead until laws can be changed to stamp out such practices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: All EU member countries, including low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland and higher ones like Germany, must agree unanimously on tax matters.

Good luck with that.

France to sue Apple, Google over developer contracts – March 14, 2018