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Macron digital tax plan faces EU fight

Macron digital tax plan faces EU fight

AMMAN: Luxembourg hosts the EU headquarters for Amazon and along with Facebook and Apple hub Ireland, is loathe to see US tech giants head for the exit.
The special tax is the latest measure by the European Union to rein in Silicon Valley giants and could also further embitter the bad-tempered trade row pitting the EU against US President Donald Trump.

“It is not an anti (US tech giant) tax, it is not an anti US tax, it is not a protectionist approach, it is something which it is in interest of all Europeans wherever they live,” said EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, who is driving the plan.

The transatlantic shot across the bow has been championed by Macron who believes the measure would be a popular accomplishment for the EU ahead of European elections next year, in which anti-Brussels populists could do well.

The most controversial part of the plan is to slap an emergency tax on digital companies with worldwide annual turnover above 750 million euros ($924 million), such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Airbnb and Uber.

EU members would adopt this tax unilaterally, without cooperating with the US and other countries from the OECD, the club of developed countries that has coordinated major corporate tax reforms worldwide.