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Forget chlorinated chicken: taxing the tech titans could kill a US-UK trade agreement

Philip Hammond's plans for squeezing the internet giants such as Google is upsetting the US

Credit:
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP

In last year’s Autumn Budget, Philip Hammond went in hard for the internet giants. “It is clearly not sustainable or fair that digital platform businesses can generate substantial value in the UK without paying tax here," he said.

So he set about doing what all chancellors do. When you want to tax something, you first need to define it, and that definition comes from regulation. That’s why the review into competition in the technology sector, to be published on Wednesday, is really a story about economics, trade, and the taxman.

Lead by Professor Jason Furman, former economic adviser to Barack Obama, it has found that "the cost of increasing dominance of a few companies is limiting competition…

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