France to launch le Google tax

The French senate has decided it will levy a tax of one percent on online ads starting next year, as stated in the budget 2011.

Philippe Marini, head of the finance commission, was quoted as saying that online ads aren’t taxed yet and the main sellers of ad space were located outside of France, meaning they don’t pay enough taxes to La Grande Nation.

French advertisers weren’t so happy, saying the nefarious one percent tax will have a negative impact on the country’s economy, as French companies will advertise and thus sell less.

Common sense implies companies that spend a million or two on advertising won’t trash an entire campaign because a few ads in the net will cost advertisers.

The idea of a “Google-taxe” has been making its rounds since early this year, after the so-called Zelnik Report appeared on the political scene. Its author, Patrick Zelnik, stated it would be a brilliant idea to tax online ads and use the income to subsidise French newspapers, which are lying in bed with a slight fever due to that US flu called the internet.

Patrick Zelnik also happens to be the boss of Carla Bruni’s record label. France’s president Nicholas Sarkozy happens to be married to Carla Bruni.

France passed the Hadopi law stating people who download content illegally will be warned three times before having the connection to le net is severed. Anyone smell political self-dealing?