While the European Union has long been discussing the problem of US tech and social media giants not paying a fair share of taxes in the European countries in which they operate, the French government is going it alone and introducing a digital tax from December.

The GAFA tax targets Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. The outgoing Trump administration had threatened to retaliate against French products, already under pressure due to a boycott in much of the Muslim world in protest of President Macron’s tough stance of freedom of speech.

In France, Amazon has postponed its Black Friday discounts during the ongoing coronavirus crisis in an attempt to placate the government which has taken up the case of small, independent shops.

Bookshops have been badly impacted by the latest lockdown, and, along with other non-essential businesses in France, reopen on Saturday, November 28, hoping for a rush of Christmas sales.

FILE PHOTO: Reuters