“President Francois Hollande will decide by the end of July whether France should impose new taxes on technology giants like Apple and Google to finance cultural projects, a move that could feed into an anti-business image days after a spat with Yahoo,” Reuters reports.
“The Socialist government asked former Canal Plus CEO Pierre Lescure to find new ways of funding culture during an economic downturn, in line with France’s ‘cultural exception’ argument that such projects must be shielded from market forces,” Reuters reports. “While far from becoming laws, the proposals could worsen tension between France and technology giants after Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg blocked an attempt by Yahoo! to buy a majority stake in French video clip site Dailymotion.”
Reuters reports, “The run-in reignited a debate on state intervention in the economy, angered the firm’s French parent company and exposed discord between Montebourg and Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, who denied having approved the move. Lescure’s report said taxes on sales of smart-phones and tablets, namely Apple’s iPhone and iPad and Google Android products, could help fund culture because consumers were spending more money on hardware than on content.”
“‘Companies that make these tablets must, in a minor way, be made to contribute part of the revenue from their sales to help creators,’ Culture Minister Aurelie Filipetti told journalists,” Reuters reports. “Filipetti added that the ‘culture tax,’ which she said would be ‘minimal and widely distributed,’ was likely to be included in a budget law to be submitted to parliament in November.”
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MacDailyNews Take: The eleven most dangerous words in the French language are “Salut, je suis du gouvernement et je suis ici pour aider.”