The French government on Thursday launched a study that could lead later this year to levies on big Internet based companies that sell large amounts in France without paying much in taxes.
Experts are to submit a report “regarding the localisation and taxation of profits, sales or, possibly, other taxable accounts,” a statement issued by several economic and business ministers said.
“Our fiscal system has trouble integrating new transaction forms generated by the digital economy,” the ministries said.
“The result is a loss of income for public finances and a competitive disadvantage for French companies with respect to international groups which have organised themselves to evade or diminish their taxes,” they added.
According to Yves Le Mouel, head of the French Telecommunications Federation (FFT), the main companies targeted are the so-called “GAFA” quartet, which includes Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.com.
Le Mouel estimated that they “make annual sales of around five billion euros ($6.1 billion) in France”.