US big tech under attack: Spain to push ahead with tax on digital firms

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The global hunt on large technology firms continues, with now another country, Spain, seeking to force the companies to pay more in the markets where they operate.

The country’s acting Economy Minister Nadia Calvino told news radio network Cadena Ser that the government’s “intention is to put (the tax) back on the table as soon as there is a government.”

Spain’s parliament will vote next week on acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s bid to form a new government. His Socialist party won an early general election in April but without an absolute majority.

According to Calvino, it is necessary “to find a global solution” in regards to the big tech “because it is a global problem.”

“We must take action because the impact on our economies cannot be minimized,” she said.

Asked about the possibility of the US imposing sanctions on Spain if it goes ahead with the tax, Calvino said it was “very risky” to predict its reaction because of Washington’s “erratic behavior.”

The minister said she believes the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “sees the need for a global solution, he is very interested in finding a format for taxation that is fair for big internet firms.”

In January, Madrid introduced a draft law which would slap a 3.0 percent tax on revenues generated from some services to Spanish consumers by the largest tech firms such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

In its intention to tax the tech firms, Madrid follows France which has also accused them of exploiting global tax loopholes. Last week, the French parliament passed a law levying a three-percent tax on sales generated in France by multinational firms. In accordance with the new law, any digital company with a revenue of more than €750 million ($850 million) – of which at least €25 million is generated in France – would be subject to the levy.

The law was passed despite Washington claiming it will ‘unfairly’ target Silicon Valley giants and the threats of imposing sanctions.

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