Paris — France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1, finance minister Bruno Le Maire says, amid difficulties in finalising a new EU-wide levy. France has been pushing hard for a new so-called “GAFA tax” — named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon — to ensure the global companies pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe. “The tax will be introduced, whatever happens, on January 1 and it will be for the whole of 2019 for an amount that we estimate at €500m,"Le Maire told a press conference in Paris on Monday. The low tax rates paid by US tech companies in Europe has repeatedly caused anger among voters in many European countries, but the 28-member bloc is divided on how to tackle the issue. Ireland, which hosts the European headquarters of several large US tech companies, leads a small group of otherwise mostly Nordic countries that argue a new tax could lead to reprisals against European companies an...

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