Apple’s Cook in Paris to Meet Macron Amid Calls for Tech Taxes

  • French President has been demanding tech giants pay more taxes
  • Macron leads group of European countries seeking tax change

The Meteoric Rise of France's New President 

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is in Paris to meet Emmanuel Macron, amid calls by the French President and European allies to change rules in the region to get technology giants to pay more tax.

Cook and Macron are due to meet on Monday afternoon, according to the French president’s public agenda. Macron is leading a group of countries -- including Germany, Italy and Spain -- that are seeking a way to plug the European loopholes that allow some companies to minimize taxes by shifting profits to jurisdictions such as Ireland or the Netherlands. 

Jony Ive, chief design officer for Apple Inc., center, and Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., view the iPhone X during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Apple Inc. unveiled its most important new iPhone for years to take on growing competition from Samsung Electronics Co., Google and a host of Chinese smartphone makers. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Tim Cook
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Despite setting out as a champion for tech companies and flagging his desire to make his country “a startup nation”, Macron and his ministers have been increasingly vocal about companies like Apple, but also Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Airbnb Inc. needing to change their ways. 

Macron said last month in Tallinn, Estonia, during a European Union summit, that internet giants don’t contribute to the common good.

Meanwhile online retailer Amazon.com last week was slapped with a European Union order to pay 250 million euros ($294 million) plus interest in back taxes to Luxembourg, becoming the latest U.S. giant to run afoul of the bloc’s rules on government subsidies. The EU authority also said it’s suing Ireland for failing to recover a single penny of last year’s record 13 billion-euro bill from Apple.

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