Germany not backing off plan to increase Apple taxes

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The country's finance ministry denied a report that it's dropped its support for an European Commission plan to collect more taxes on Apple and other Internet giants.

According to Reuters, the office of German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has denied a previous report that Scholz has given up on plans to raise taxes on Apple, Google, and other large tech companies.

"There has been no decision made yet by the minister or the ministry on one or more instruments," a spokesperson said, according to the news service.

The Bild newspaper had reported that Scholz was backing away from the plan because "demonization" of such firms was "not productive." That report was based on internal documents, but the spokesperson for the ministry said they were "very selectively" cited, as one of many options.

"The debate is still ongoing, also among the finance ministers of Europe and the G7/G20 countries. The Federal Government still aims to ensure a fair taxation of internet companies," the spokesperson added.

The European Union, in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a de facto leadership position, has pushed a plan that would require companies of a certain size to pay taxes all over the E.U. territory, rather than only in the country in which they are regionally headquartered. It would target companies with annual revenues over a level that Apple, Google and Amazon would most certainly meet.

Scholz's SDP party, which is part of a ruling coalition with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, ran in the last national elections in favor of increased taxation on large Internet firms.