The latest French plot to kill Google is hiding in plain sight

In this week’s episode of “How France tries to hurt Google,” the French government has come up with a great plan around making sure that search engine users are aware of alternatives: by forcing all search engines who “have a significant impact on the digital economy” to provide links to three other search engines, of […]

Hamon, Ham-off. How the Loi Hamon hurts startups

Hamon, Ham-off. How the Loi Hamon hurts startups

If you believe (like many Canadians I know) that everything is better with bacon, the Loi Hamon will disappoint you. Despite its shared namesake with the Filipino word for ham, France’s Hamon law feels more like eggs benedict without the bacon… and with rotten eggs for that matter. I finally had my first direct brush […]

Time to invest in Japan?

Time to invest in Japan?

I would posit that Japan is “the ultimate contrarian bet.” For entrepreneurs and investors in the West alike, the world’s third largest economy strikes me as being unfairly dismissed. Don’t get me wrong. At the macro level, the Japanese economy faces its share of challenges. The demographic trend is not moving in the country’s favor, […]

Drivy founder Paulin Dementhon: “Berlin is quite unique worldwide”

Last week French peer-to-peer car sharing platform Drivy launches its service in Germany. I met Drivy founder Paulin Dementhon and German Country Manager Gero Graf for an interview on Drivy’s plans for the future, Berlin’s advantages and the share economy. Tobias Schwarz: What is Drivy? How does it work? Paulin Dementhon: Drivy is a peer-to-peer […]

French government vows to enforce ‘anti-UberPOP’ law to quell latest taxi uprising

Another day, another French taxi strike.  This time, the taxis were protesting against a ruling this past Friday that UberPOP could continue to operate in Paris. The only drawback to the ruling for Uber was that the court, in response to a deceptive advertising infraction in October,  banned them from advertising certain services which would result […]

In Paris, Uber fined €100K as advertising for UberPop declared illegal

A court decision ruled this week that advertising UberPop – Uber’s low cost peer to peer transport solution in Europe – fining the company €100,000. The case, which is independent of Uber’s ongoing negotiations with Taxi authorities, was brought forth by the anti-competition & fraud commission of the French Ministry of Economy, and Uber currently plans to appeal the […]

The pyramid of luxury consumption

On the heels of Paris Fashion Week and the abundance of glitteratti strolling around in the balmy summer weather wearing ostentatious dresses (I saw one model that seemed to wearing a ball gown made of rubber tubes and hanging orbs), it seems appropriate to reflect on the stages of wearable luxury. Here’s how I see […]

Axelle Lemaire: “France has everything to be a leader in IoT”

The deputy Minister for Digital Economy Axelle Lemaire announced today at the Connected Conference in Paris the launch of a “Plan Industriel” dedicated to the Internet of Things. 21 des 34 plans de la Nouvelle France industrielle en ordre de marche — Axelle Lemaire (@axellelemaire) June 19, 2014 The “Plan Industriel” is one amongst […]

Supporting startups with a wealth tax break

I’ve been known to jokingly refer to this time of year the “easy money period” for startups in France. The reason for this is that late May and ultimately June 15 represent the filing deadlines for wealth tax in France. The French wealth tax, l’impôt de solidarité sur la fortune, or ISF for short, represents […]

France can now (legally) veto all acquisitions by foreign companies

The potential acquisition of Alstom by General Electric has made more than the usual headlines in France & around the world, notably due to the French government’s lobbying for German competitor Siemens to acquire the company’s ailing Energy division, currently valued at upwards of $17 Billion. For those without memory loss, this process may feel […]