French President Proposes Tax On Internet

    January 9, 2008

French President Nicholas Sarkozy has proposed banning advertising on public television and recovering some of the lost revenue by taxing the Internet and mobile phones.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy

Sarkozy said, "I want us to profoundly review the requirement of public television and to consider a complete elimination of advertising on public channels." He added those channels "could be financed by a tax on advertising revenues of private broadcasters and an infinitesimal tax on the revenues of new means of communication like Internet access or mobile telephony."

Analysts note that the Internet and mobile phones are relatively new and still developing economic and communication tools, while traditional television and other mass media are attracting less and less viewers.

"This could be seen as drawing on new technology to fund old technology," Taylor Reynolds, economist at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development told the International Herald Tribune.

For the proposal to become a reality it must be made a bill and pass both house of Parliament. Frank Louvrier, Sarkozy’s director of communications, said the President wants "to wrap this up in 2008."