France mulls culture tax on smartphones

May 13, 2013, 9:48 AM EDT
A woman holds a French flag as supporters of the anti-gay marriage movement 'La Manif Pour Tous' (Demonstration for all) take part in a demonstration on May 5, 2013 in Rennes, western France.
AFP/Getty Images/Jean-Sebastien Evrard

PARIS (AP) — The French government is considering creating a new tax on smartphones and tablets in a bid to raise millions to support the creation of digital cultural content inside France.

The proposal, handed to President Francois Hollande Monday, outlines a 1 percent tax on the sale of Internet-compatible devices, targeting companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon. The tax would yield about 86 million euros per year. The revenue would help cultural industries create French content such as music, images and videos.

The proposal is part of France's "cultural exception," a policy that protects French cinema and music industries, and other creative sectors, against foreign — often American — competition.

The French government will meet leading figures of the cultural sector in the next few weeks before any decision is made.