PARIS A French tax on dividends introduced by the Socialist government in 2012 was struck down by the European Court of Justice on Wednesday.
Companies such as AXA (AXAF.PA), Danone (DANO.PA) and Orange (ORAN.PA) had challenged the tax which was levied as an additional band of corporation tax calculated on dividends paid. The companies argued that it amounted to double taxation. The tax brought in 2 billion euros ($2.22 billion) a year to France's state coffers.
The AJEF group of French blue-chip companies welcomed the court's decision, saying in a statement it was a strong signal for France's attractiveness in terms of the business environment.
(Reporting by Myriam Rivet; writing by Michel Rose. Editing by Jane Merriman)