Several EU Countries Against Network Fee Levy On Big Tech: Reports

Several European Union countries have rejected a proposal from telecoms companies in Europe to seek financial assistance from major tech firms, such as Google, for the implementation of 5G and broadband across the region, as per sources.

During a meeting with EU industry chief Thierry Breton in Luxembourg on Thursday, telecoms ministers from 18 countries discussed the proposed network fee levy on tech firms. Some ministers rejected the proposal, while others requested further study on the necessity and potential impact of the measure, according to Reuters.

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Last month, EU telecoms regulators’ group BEREC expressed similar views to Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Telecom Italia, who believe that Big Tech should contribute towards network costs due to the high volume of their data and content traffic.

The European Commission’s industry chief Breton, who has a background in leading France Telecom and Atos, has shown interest in their proposals.

Several major tech companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook parent Meta Platforms, Netflix, Amazon, and Microsoft, have declined to support a proposed levy, citing their current investments in the digital ecosystem.

The European telecom ministers cited the lack of an analysis on the effects of a network levy, the absence of an investment shortfall, and the risk of Big Tech passing on the extra cost to consumers, the people said.