France will forge ahead with its own tax on digital giants in 2019 if the EU fails to agree on how to get the likes of Google and Facebook to pay more tax in Europe, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday.
If the talks fail, "we will do it at the national level in 2019: we will tax digital giants if European states do not take their responsibilities," he said.
France's initial proposal had a far wider scope but failed to gain traction, effectively killing the proposal as European tax rules require unanimous backing by all EU members.
Ireland, which hosts the European headquarters of several US tech giants, leads a small group of otherwise mostly Nordic countries that argue the tax will also punish European companies and stoke Washington's anger.
Germany, which firmly backed the plan at first, also expressed reticence after auto giants expressed concern it could damage their digital business models.
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