Sarkozy Pitches Internet Tax

French prez seeks to compensate for plan to ban public TV ads
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 4:45 AM CST
French President Nicolas Sarkozy gives the New Year's speech to army representatives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed taxing internet access and cell phone use to compensate for a ban on advertising on state-owned television stations, reports Time magazine. A monthly tax of a single Euro would generate $290 million per year—a quarter of what would be lost from the ad ban Sarkozy is also seeking, but some officials fear public outrage over such a tax.

"Generally speaking, taxing the internet is considered a bad idea, and a potential brake to net use and development," said one consultant. "These days, there just aren't many people who could respond to higher Internet prices by saying, 'Forget it, I'll just do without the net.'" France currently enjoys one of the most inexpensive broadband markets in the developed world.