A recent discussion between US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron saw the Americans threatening to impose a tariff on all French goods in retaliation for France proposing a massive tax on Big Tech firms. Despite the pushback from the US, France seems to be going ahead with their plans. French Digital Affairs minister Cédric O states that the taxes are only the tip of the iceberg, as France intends to take Big Tech in hand and deal with their suffocation of competitors themselves.
Proactive Methods to Prevent Big Tech from Stifling Innovation
President Macron signed a bill into law in July that taxed tech companies based on the size of the business’s global and local revenues. O stated that the levy was the first step in reigning in the power of those Big Tech companies. The Digital Affairs minister further mentioned that France was preparing further legislation that levels the playing field for new innovators and ensures that Big Tech doesn’t interfere with democracy. Despite the new proposed laws, O said that France has no intention of forcing Big Tech companies to split up.
Ever mindful of the impact on innovation, O noted that the government could target specific businesses based on their public bank records. The targets would be the largest tech companies, leaving smaller ones to thrive unmolested. These extra regulations on the most massive companies may see companies like Facebook or Google being forced to allow competitors access to their data or services at a reduced cost, or even for free. Additionally, the government will keep a keen eye on any acquisitions those companies intend to pursue within the country. The US government’s anti-trust investigations have turned public opinion against Tech Giants, and France shows that the rest of the world supports further regulation of these massive corporations. France hopes that the legislation will create a better environment for innovative tech IPOs within the country to gain traction internationally.