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France again threatens Google with link tax

Fetchez la vache, says Hollande, after Schmidt visit resolves nothing

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French President François Hollande has told Google chair Eric Schmidt his nation intends to proceed with plans to force the Chocolate Factory to pay when it links to news content.

Hollande, Aurélie Filippetti (France's Minister of Culture and Communication) and Fleur Pellerin (Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Innovation and the Digital Economy) met Schmidt yesterday and one of the items on the agenda was France's desire to make Google cough up for content.

Hollande's statement about the meeting (which we translated using Bing) saw the President acknowledge Google is a decent corporate citizen that is helping French small business. But the statement also says Hollande insisted “that the development of the digital economy called an adaptation of taxation in order to better understand the distribution of value added and funding content creation on each territory.”

The President therefore hopes “negotiations can be quickly engage and concluding by the end of the year between Google and news publishers.” If those negotiations don't go well, Hollande said he is well and truly prepared to legislate as he feels tapping Google for cash is a reasonable thing to do in support of French newspapers.

Google's past response to the suggestion it pays to link has been to say it will remove all links to French newspapers from its search results, depriving them of what it says is four billion clicks a month.

The Chocolate Factory has issued no statement about the meeting. ®

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