French government becomes first to call for invasive measures in effort to combat coronavirus.
Cédric O says French will not back down on levy despite US threats of trade war and that tax is just tip of the iceberg in terms of new regulations needed to deal with powerful tech giants.
US digital communications giant Google has agreed an almost 1 billion-euro settlement with France's tax authorities, who threatened a potentially more costly legal case against the company for under-declaring revenue in its business in the country by using the loophole that its European headquarters were based in Ireland.
The 'GAFA' taxwill apply to digital companies with global revenues of over 750 million euros and French revenue over 25 million euros.
France's data privacy watchdog, the CNIL, on Monday announced it has brought a 50-million-euro fin against US technology and internet search engine giant Google for breaching the European Union's new General Data Protection Regulation.
France had been pushing for Commission to agree EU-wide measures by end of 2018 but countries such as Sweden and Finland were against.
US internet services giant Google and French telecoms company Orange are building a 6,600-kilometre-long 'cutting edge' cable under the Atlantic Ocean linking France and North America, and providing Google with a close connection between its Belgian and North Virginian data centres.
Total are also talking with Microsoft as company seeks to explore how complex algorithms could be applied to its work in oil and gas.
Economy minister Bruno Le Maire said France and Germany would join forces to tackle what he called 'digital platforms' escaping taxes on their business activities in France, notably citing Airbnb as a target.
A Paris administrative court has ruled against the French tax administration claim for back-payments on taxes it claimed were due for the period 2005-2010 when Google and its subsidiary in Ireland were selling a service for inserting online ads to clients in France for years through the California tech giant's search engine.
French minister said it was time for Europe to defend its own interests and make Google, Amazon and Facebook pay 'taxes they owe in Europe'.
The measure was thrown out as French government seeks to make country more attractive for foreign businesses looking to relocate after Brexit.
About 100 officers swooped on US firm's offices in Paris to investigate charges of aggravated tax fraud and money-laundering.
US giant is appealing against ruling by French data regulator to apply so-called 'right to be forgotten' worldwide, rather than in just the EU.