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Nine EU states back plan to tax online giants' turnover - Le Maire

TALLINN, Sept 15 (Reuters) - France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday nine European Union countries back the idea of taxing big Internet companies on their turnover, rather than on profits, a move that would raise their tax bills.

France has led the initiative on a turnover tax and was immediately supported by Germany, France and Spain.

At a meeting of EU finance ministers in Tallinn on Friday, Le Maire said that also Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia and Latvia "formally joined the initiative".

In a news conference on the sidelines of the finance ministers' meeting, Le Maire also said that progress for a financial transactions tax among 10 EU countries that support it should happen only after a clear assessment of the impact of Britain's departure from the EU was made. (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio zfraguarascio, editing by Robin Emmott)