The land of fine wine, food and women (in no particular order) might soon be the first country in the world that imposes taxes on search engines – if French President Francois Hollande has his way. He is working on a new kind of tax which will require search engines like Google to fork out money each time they make use of content from the French media. Hollande did work out some small talk with Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, during a meeting in Paris yesterday.
According to Hollande, the rapid expansion of the digital economy could result in updated tax laws in order to ‘reward’ French media content. What do you think of this idea? It might just lead Google and other search engines alike to avoid French news sources, citing other search results instead, and the French media would be all the poorer for it as folks would not be able to read what French journalists have written if such a tax were to be implemented. Obviously, Google has opposed the plan, and could very well bar French websites from its search results should the tax be imposed. Across Europe, Germany and Italy did share their concerns and are receptive to the idea of a ‘Google tax’. How about you?