The European Union (EU) on Wednesday unveiled proposals for a digital tax that targets US tech giants, heaping more problems on Facebook after revelations over misused data of 50 million users shocked the world.
The special tax is the latest measure by the 28-nation European Union to rein in Silicon Valley giants and could further embitter the bad-tempered trade row pitting the EU against US President Donald Trump.
EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici presented his proposals in Brussels aimed at recovering billions of euros from mainly US multinationals that shift earnings around Europe to pay lower tax rates.
“This current legal vacuum is creating a serious shortfall in the public revenue of our member states,” France’s Moscovici told a press conference in Brussels.
“We estimate this could generate at least five billion euros a year if the tax is imposed at 3 percent.”
Moscovici insisted it was “not an anti-GAFA tax nor an anti-US tax”, referring to the popular acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
The transatlantic blow has been championed by French President Emmanuel Macron and will be discussed over dinner at an EU leaders summit on Thursday.