French government proposes online ad tax

The French Culture Ministry is considering introducing a tax on online advertising for major social networks and search engines, including Google and Facebook, to increase its arts funding.


In a speech to leaders and representatives of the arts and entertainment sector, French president Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking on behalf of the Culture Ministry said, “For the time being, these companies are taxed in the country in which they’re headquartered even though they make up a big part of our advertising market.”

The proposal was put forward in a government-commissioned survey and would end “enrichment without any limit or compensation”.

Google has online ad revenues of €806m (£720m) in France but is headquartered in Ireland.

A spokesman for Google said, “We don’t think introducing an additional tax on internet advertising is the right way forward as it could slow down innovation.”

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