Facebook testing photo transferring, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey moving to Africa for 6 months
Welcome to “#SocialStocks,” The Fly’s weekly recap of Wall Street’s reactions to social media stock news.
USTR PROPOSES TARIFFS ON $2.4B OF FRENCH GOODS:
On December 2, the U.S. Trade Representative completed the first segment of its investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and concluded that France’s Digital Services Tax discriminates against U.S. companies, is inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy, and is unusually burdensome for affected U.S. companies. Specifically, USTR’s investigation found that the French DST discriminates against U.S. digital companies, such as Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), and Amazon (AMZN). In addition, the French DST is inconsistent with prevailing tax principles on account of its retroactivity, its application to revenue rather than income, its extraterritorial application, and its purpose of penalizing particular U.S. technology companies, the USTR said. USTR is issuing a Federal Register notice explaining that, for the reasons set forth in the report, the French DST is unreasonable, discriminatory, and burdens U.S. commerce.
The notice solicits comments from the public on USTR’s proposed action, which includes additional duties of up to 100 percent on certain French products. The notice also seeks comment on the option of imposing fees or restrictions on French services. The list of French products subject to potential duties includes 63 tariff subheadings with an approximate trade value of $2.4B. The value of any U.S. action through either duties or fees may take into account the level of harm to the U.S. economy resulting from the DST. “USTR’s decision today sends a clear signal that the United States will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on U.S. companies,” Ambassador Robert Lighthizer said. “Indeed, USTR is exploring whether to open Section 301 investigations into the digital services taxes of Austria, Italy, and Turkey. The USTR is focused on countering the growing protectionism of EU member states, which unfairly targets U.S. companies, whether through digital services taxes or other efforts that target leading U.S. digital services companies.”
FACEBOOK TESTING PHOTO TRANSFER TOOL:
On December 2, Facebook said that it is releasing a tool that will enable Facebook users to transfer their Facebook photos and videos directly to other services, starting with Google Photos. “For almost a decade, we’ve enabled people to download their information from Facebook,” the company said. “The photo transfer tool we’re starting to roll out today is based on code developed through our participation in the open-source Data Transfer Project and will first be available to people in Ireland, with worldwide availability planned for the first half of 2020. People can access this new tool in Facebook settings within Your Facebook Information, the same place where you can download your information. We’ve kept privacy and security as top priorities, so all data transferred will be encrypted and people will be asked to enter their password before a transfer is initiated.” The company is currently testing this tool and plans to continue refining it based on feedback from people using it as well as from its conversations with stakeholders.
DORSEY MOVING TO AFRICA:
On December 2, Square (SQ) and Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet this past week that he plans to move to Africa for up to six months. “Sad to be leaving the continent…for now. Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020. Grateful I was able to experience a small part.”
Originally Posted on December 4, 2019 – #SocialStocks: USTR Says Tariffs Discriminate Against U.S. Digital Companies
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