The article deals with the problems which European and, in particular, French retail brick-and-mortar stores face when competing with the analogous online ones from across the ocean. France witnesses a significant rise in sales through online sources and thus a decline in in-store sales. French officials claim low taxes paid by online companies to be the roots of the present situation. The other opinion, however, is that the difference in rent is more to blame. No matter what the reason is music sellers are protesting in fear of losing their jobs.
The situation described is entailed by the world globalization process which is unfavorable for local business. Resistance to change is unacceptable, and using traditional methods without adjusting them to contemporary conditions is an untenable alternative. The owners of the retail networks in France will sooner or later have to convert their enterprises into the online format; and if the French are really nostalgic about them they will prefer using them to their American competitors.
France Proposes an Internet Tax
The second article I chose describes how France is going to react to the American monopoly on the Internet and to the fact that the American based companies do not pay sufficient amounts of taxes in France to cover all the inconveniences their activities entail in this country. Since users of social media services actually work for the companies which provide them, French officials suppose that it is legitimate to levy taxes on the Internet activities of such users.
I view this as an attempt to collect money from all the sources possible. France is famous for its draft considering taxing rich people and taking away 75% of their annual income, which is also discussed in this article. Although the current issue may seem less discriminating the aforementioned one, it will possibly result in public discontent, for imposing such policies necessarily involves opening private information collected by companies like Google and Facebook. Therefore, I suppose that this attempt will not be a successful one.
A Year After the Closing of Megaupload, a File-Sharing Tycoon Opens a New Site
The third article I chose provides information about Kim Dotcom, an owner of the Megaupload site, famous for its illegal distribution of copyrighted content. Mr. Dotcom is now opening a new site called Mega intended to provide virtual space to store information. The main problem which Mr. Dotcom faces is that he is still under a legal trial, so his new site is scrupulously checked for being illegal.
My opinion is that the trials Mr. Dotcom faces are still more to come. The new site he had created, although declined to be free from pirate content, may drive unnecessary attention since it imposes danger to Internet giants such as Google. The amount of free space given by Google can hardly be competitive to the one of Mega’s.
Cyprus Rises on Agenda of Overseers of the Euro
The last article I chose deals with problems in the Eurozone and in Cyprus in particular. The EU is considering a possibility to help Cyprus by lending this country $16 billion. This amount of money seems relatively small when compared to the turmoil oh the EU, but compared to the annual gross product of Cyprus it raises a question whether or not Cyprus will ever be able to pay back.
More developed countries of the EU are today becoming a source of financial aid for those which suffer from crisis. This situation may result in the EU’s denying to accept any new members. And the countries who saw their aims in joining the EU may reconsider it, since one of the reasons why Cyprus and Greece suffered from the crisis so badly is that they tried to meet the EU standards.