Under the proposals, made in a government-commissioned report submitted to the French president this week, money from the tax would go to the cultural sphere.
Jacques Toubon, a former culture minister and one of the report's authors, told the Libération newspaper that the aim was to curb "the limitless enrichment" of the world's leading internet players. His colleague on the report, Guillaume Cerruti, the president of Sotheby's auction house in France, said the revenue would "go straight into the state budget".
In all, the so-called "Google tax" would be expected to raise between €10m and €20m a year. An array of cultural ventures, from newspaper subscriptions to expanded online publishing platforms, would be helped by the money, according to the report.
The proposal, now in Sarkozy's hands, is the latest in a series of attempts by France to regulate online activity. Last year the government passed a law on illegal downloading that would have introduced a monitoring agency with the power to cut offenders' internet connections for up to a year. This faced sustained opposition, however, and was watered down by the time it got through parliament.
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