Google, Facebook and Amazon will testify against France’s digital tax next week, according to a Wednesday report from Reuters. On July 12, the French Senate approved a providing services to French users, with the Trump administration at the time saying it would by discriminating against US companies.
The digital tax affects companies that make at least €750 million in revenue worldwide — around $844 million — as well as €25 million in digital sales in France. The US investigation into France’s new rules will be conducted by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. It’ll be a 301 probe, the same kind that last year.
In Google’s written testimony, Nicholas Bramble, the company’s trade policy counsel, said that France’s digital tax threatens to undermine the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) process.
“It is a sharp departure from long-established tax rules and uniquely targets a subset of businesses. French government officials have emphasized repeatedly that the DST is intended to target foreign technology companies,” Bramble said.
Amazon and Facebook told Reuters that the French tax could cause problems for their respective business models. The Information Technology Industry Council, which represents Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google and others, will testify Monday that the tax is “a troubling precedent,” according to the report.
“The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate … unfairly targets American companies,” Lighthizer said in a statement last month. “The president has directed that we investigate the effects of this legislation and determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce.”
Apple, Amazon and Facebook didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Originally published Aug. 14, 2:39 p.m. PT.
Update, 3:27 p.m.: Adds response from Google.