French president Emmanuel Macron may have built his reputation around being big business-friendly, but we’ll see how many of those businesses still want to be friends with him after this week.
A long-standing grudge over EU taxation of large tech companies has pushed France to install a new law known colloquially as “GAFA.” The initials stand for the companies the law is designed to target: Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. All will be required to pay a 3% tax in France on top of their normal slate of taxes. But why is France getting huffy about GAFA in the first place? Well, when companies like the Big Four report their taxes, they get to pick which country in the EU they want to declare in, meaning they can pay their taxes in countries particularly lenient towards tech giants, like Luxembourg or Ireland.
France has been bugging the EU for years to propose Europe-wide tax regulations. But a lack of support from other countries means that this time around, the Republic is rolling up her sleeves and getting ready to do the job herself.