Last updated: January 22, 2013 - 11:33pm
When the most prominent new face in France’s effort to oversee the new economy speaks, her pronouncements may be followed almost as closely in Silicon Valley and Seoul as in Paris. Fleur Pellerin, a deputy finance minister, is the point woman in President François Hollande’s campaign to stimulate innovation. But in trying to put a French imprint on the digital economy, she has been drawn into a growing number of disputes with U.S. technology companies like Google, Twitter and Amazon.
In one of the clearest signals yet from the French Finance Ministry that the government is intent on making the Internet conform to French law and custom, Ms. Pellerin last week waded into a dispute involving Google, whose advertising had been blocked by a French Internet service provider, Free. The move was widely seen as an attempt by Free to force Google to pay for network access. As a preliminary step, Pellerin ordered Free to restore full service, but she made it clear that she thought the French company had a legitimate grievance.
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