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

Oct. 9, 2017
Despite setting out as a champion for tech companies, Macron and his ministers have been increasingly vocal about companies like Apple needing to change their ways.

Apple Inc. CEO 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. 

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 ($293.58 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 ($15.27 billion) bill from Apple.

By Marie Mawad and Helene Fouquet

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