France weighs ‘culture tax’ for Apple products

“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.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The eleven most dangerous words in the French language are “Salut, je suis du gouvernement et je suis ici pour aider.”


    1. How about shoving your concrete point up yours where the sun don’t shine?
      The target audience for this site is not what you have poorly articulated!

    2. This is nothing to do with the fact that France happens to have a Socialist government at the moment, and everything to do with the fact that France has an inherent snobbery about its culture and language, has a nose-in-the-air attitude about the ‘hoi-paloi’, and will happily penalise foreign business in order to feed its superiority complex.
      The French government actually have a law making it illegal to introduce Anglicised terms into the French language, like ‘Le Weekend’, for example.

      1. Not really – the English have a distorted view of France and its supposed arrogance. Still, the socialist government is getting it all wrong. All the French know that it is a failure compared to Germany.

        Still, there is proper reason and I support the French protection of its culture. It is just a shame the public sector and government is so sclerotic.

  1. Whilst the policy proposal is populist by nature and quite amenable to the Hoi poloi, it is a potential disaster area for business’s that are aiming to become the largest in the world.
    How would the French government react to other countries imposing a special tax on EE? just because it seemingly enjoys the protection of the French government by the implication of the easy access to a subsidy or protection from competitors in its own backyard?
    How would French nationals react to loosing jobs outside France because their companies will have been painted with ‘Bulls eye’ rings for non French companies to aim at outside of France?

    Populism is popular in the short term but never in the long term because of the difficulty and complexities of sustaining it.

    1. Apple sales generate huge VAT revenue. Add on another tax and customers will just drive across the border to a lower tax area. $GOOG pays little if any VAT,I suspect. Maybe on its tablets.

    1. Pretty much my thought. If France is causing too many problems for a particular company/industry, blacklist them. Or at least threaten to do so. That way, the French people will put pressure on their government AND the government will be losing out on any potential revenue they currently receive at the expense of those companies.

    2. I propose that the U.S. inform France that if a ‘culture tax’ is imposed on an American company, we will impose a new ‘culture tax’ on French products sold in the U.S.

      The proceeds of this tax would be used to support and subsidize the spread of American culture in France. Rap festivals, American cuisine and subversion of the French language. Think of the possibilities. 🙂

  2. Well, Apple has a penchant for supporting liberal things (right or wrong, I don’t personally care as I sit surrounded by four Apple items), so they should support this, right? I mean, left. Right? It’s how liberal things get funded. Which kinda makes me wonder…why don’t they bring all of their overseas money home and just pay the taxes. I’m sure the money will go to a good cause.

    1. Well, to be accurate, Apple’s has always been very liberal on social issues (inclusion, benefits, race/gender/orientation discrimination, etc). Fiscally, they are still a major corporation, responsible to the shareholders, so they can only be liberal so much.

  3. “‘Companies that make these tablets must, in a minor way, be made to contribute part of the revenue from their sales to help creators,

    Helping creators is exactly what Apple is doing, . providing the tools and the rules for creators to profit from their endevors yet maintain a massive backbone to support it. Apple has planted many orchards around the world. Orchards don’t grow overnight : )

    1. Neglect not the critical importance of INCENTIVE to all we human beings. Socialism is brilliant at killing people’s incentive to do good work and works. It’s brilliant at either numbing people into not caring, or at incentivizing crime as a replacement for an incentive to actually work. I’ve never seen any ‘socialist’ government actually work. Right from the start the leaders figure out this exact problem and end up becoming OVERLORDS if only to FORCE people to care. That, of course, only FORCES most people seek an alternative form of self-incentive, crime being the easiest at hand.

      So yes France. Expect an obsessive ‘culture tax’ to result in increased costs of crime. We all need to work toward something in our lives. Both business and culture require it.

        1. HAHAHA! Rip me one!

          We’re in the middle of an thoroughly crime ridden warping of what used to be actual ‘capitalism’. I call it PARASITISM and BIZNIZZ instead.

          The source problem of course isn’t any government or economic system. The psychopaths will always be with us, busily being self-destructive, taking the rest of us along with them. IOW: We Homo sapiens sapiens have A LOT of problems that are us.

        1. And yet, France is riddled with problems. Of course France had the youth riots of 2012. I’m glad it did. France is intensely self-destructive at this point in time. I’d like the country to survive itself so I can actually GO and live there if I so choose. And fortunately, as a citizen of an EU country, I have that choice.

          Thanks to the blatant self-destructive behavior of our worldwide brain dead Corporate Oligarchy, I don’t know of ANY country where I would actually enjoy living. The 2007 global depression has been an equal opportunity catastrophe, with plenty more catastrophes in store, both within mankind and without. Not good. Not good at all.

          If France can do better, more power to them! But going all out of balance lunatic against quality, already contributing businesses is not productive. N’est pas?

  4. If France ups the price of off shore commodities, the French people can just go to a nearby Euro neighbor and get their offshore commodities there at the old price.

    The only way the new tax will work is if the whole Euro Zone gets on board.

  5. It is amazing that posters here seem to hate everything and everybody. Not one subject gets good comments, just hateful stupid critics. I doubt any of you have even been to France, or can read french, or know anyone from france. Just a hunch, but I am pretty sure any government mentioned in the world, including our cities, states, and fed would get the same reaction. The French are snobs? Well look in the mirror you know it all experts.

    1. I went to France about 8 months ago. Stayed in/around Paris for a week.

      It was beautiful and the people seemed nice…oh, except the time the chef came out and threw the customers out for criticizing his cooking… And the rolling eyes I got probably because a I’m a “stupid American”

      But no, they’re not snobs…

    2. @CupertinoJoe
      Well said.
      Although I’d disagree to some extent — there are SOME people who write actual thoughts supported by actual logic and without any explosions of name-calling, swearing vitriol.

    3. I’ve been to France. I’ve lived in Quebec.

      Quebec is France 150 years ago but with modern transportation. It is like being in a Shakespearian play done in 1850 peasant French.

      The Francophones are a lot of things but they are not snobs.

    4. Actually, this has nothing to do with living in France. It has to do with the stupidity of government looking for new ways to take money from the private sector for their own benefit. Culture tax?!? Because they refuse to weigh budgets to their culture with the economy?

      It’s no wonder that Europe is spiraling into an economic mess.

      Not that America is much better at keeping its fiscal house in order. I swear…politicians are just idiots.

  6. Likely to affect Apple a whole lot more than Google. Google’s hardware market share is like in the 2 to 3% realm. Apple and Samsung are trouncing Google. Pretty soon Google’s hardware market share might be insignificantly small. Can’t pay taxes on zero. But maybe in France you can?

  7. “Hi, I’m from the government and I’m here to help”

    If only government didn’t inevitably degrade into the lowest common denominator of its constituents, something that is blatantly obvious in both the US Republicans and Democrats.

    Government IS a collective method of having citizens assist themselves and one another, when done well and with balance. But the loons and liars are attracted to its facility and warp it into something OTHER than actually helpful to all citizens.

    Here in the USA we are enduring a catastrophe created by fawning to our brain dead, selfish and self-destructive Corporate Oligarchy. In France, they’ve gone loon level sticking it to business in serving whatever they define as the ‘culture’.

    Defining a decent balance and functionality is difficult. But obviously hurting one person or group of persons to benefit another is NOT balanced. It’s demolition. It’s regretful.

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