The term "laissez-faire" comes from France, but it's the United States that has applied the economic term in its purest sense to business on the Internet, banning Internet-specific taxes and dragging its feet on taxing e-commerce retail sales.
Europe's latest economic policy export isn't getting such an enthusiastic embrace from the American lawmakers and the business community .
On July 1, the 15-nation EU will begin collecting the VAT, or value-added tax, on sales of digital goods and other electronic transactions from U.S.
and other non-EU companies. This means that American companies selling downloadable music, movies, games and software to customers in the EU might
have to collect taxes that could boost the total cost of their products in Europe by as much as 25 percent.
For companies like America Online and Internet auction giant eBay, it means additional costs for restructuring their European operations, as well as
possible price increases for their customers.