Network fee: the dangerous diversion of platform revenues to telcos at the expense of creation

Posté par Isabelle Szczepanski le 13 février 2023

MEP Sabine Verheyen, president of the CULT committee, organised a public hearing on the EU network fee demanded by major telecommunications companies. The fee, say telcos, aims to make the major platforms pay for part of their infrastructure costs. But if adopted, it would have negative side effects on the creative sector, says the MEP.

A European coalition led by Orange, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica and supported by some 15 European telecoms companies is calling on the EU to introduce a network fee to be paid by the most bandwidth-hungry platforms. This recurring proposal, which has been regularly brought to the forefront for the past ten years, could have a chance of passing in the coming months, thanks to the notable support of French commissioner Thierry Breton, former head of Orange. The European Commission has promised a public consultation on the subject, a necessary first step to any proposal. The draft of its questionnaire has already been leaked: we have published it here. While we already know that the battle will be bitter between the platforms – who reject the levy as a new Gafa tax – and the telcos, few had taken into account the side effects of such a measure on the creative sector until now. The likes of Netflix, Disney and Sky do not like the idea of a levy, nor do producers or creators, who could lose revenue. Thanks to a…

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