- France is reportedly finalizing legislation that would force video streaming services to invest 25% of the revenue they generate in the country towards local French productions.
- According to Bloomberg, the bill – which targets streaming giants such as Netflix, Disney, Amazon and Apple – will be debated by the French parliament in March and will be enacted if a vote this summer goes its way.
- Emmanuel Macron’s government has drafted laws aimed at retaining “cultural sovereignty in the digital era,” and has become something of a standard-bearer for European attempts to rein in big tech’s influence.
- France’s so-called “big tech tax” – which will impose a 3% tax on any digital company with revenue higher than €750 million ($850 million) – has generated controversy across the Atlantic, with US president Donald Trump threatening last month to impose retaliatory tariffs on French goods.
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France could soon land yet another blow on the US tech giants.
Emmanuel Macron’s government is reportedly close to finalizing a bill that would force Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services to put 25% of the revenues they generate in France towards local French cinema.
According to Bloomberg, the bill will be debated by France’s parliament in March and will be enacted if a vote this summer swings in its favor. As the bill hasn’t yet been finalized, it’s not clear how French-generated revenue would be measured, nor what would qualify as local French productions.
Yet this isn’t to say France has no inherent desire to curb big tech’s influence on the country, with the Macron government having expressed its own desire to preserve “audiovisual communication and cultural sovereignty in the digital age.“
More concretely, France passed a digital services tax – often referred to as a “big tech tax” for its obvious targeting of the US tech giants – in July last year.
The bill imposes a 3% tax on any digital company with revenue higher than €750 million ($850 million), of which at least €25 million ($27 million) must be generated in France.
As a result, the Trump administration threatened to hit $2.4 billion worth of French goods with tariffs, including French cheese, wine, and handbags – a threat that France warned Trump against earlier this month.