At the end of the month, if you draw the line, most of your internet traffic is made on several platforms, Google, Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Facebook. Even if you pay a subscription for that connection, the congestion of the networks by the tech giants could be reflected in an additional charge for them.
The European Commission is taking the possibility of charging IT giants very seriously for the internet traffic it generates. The official wording is “the costs of the communications network”, although we are actually talking about grabbing internet traffic. For this reason, the practices of Google, Netflix, Meta and are the subject of a charging project initiated in Brussels.
The global Internet is “consumed” by a handful of companies
Several telecommunications operators in the European Union have filed a complaint in Brussels over the costs incurred by the US technology giants. It was not long before Margrethe Vestager took an official position on the subject. As a reference, Vestager is the Executive Vice President in the division responsible for a Europe prepared for the digital age.
“I think there is a problem and we have to consider it, thinking about all aspects, and this is the issue of a fair contribution to telecommunications networks. Because we see that there are players who generate high traffic, which then facilitates their business, but which in fact does not contribute to facilitating that traffic. They are not contributing to increased investment in launching connectivity, “the European official told a news conference.
“And we are in the process of evaluating to fully understand the situation,” Vestager added, stressing that it is analyzing how data traffic has evolved over time, especially during the pandemic.
The prospect of a tax on large technology companies came to the public a few days after a report was published by the European Association of Telecommunications Network Operators (ETNO). According to authority estimates, Meta, Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Netflix were responsible for more than 56% of all global data traffic last year.
The same study insists that if these companies contributed € 20 billion a year to the costs of the network they use, it would be reflected in a € 72 billion boost for the EU economy. As a substantive detail, among the members of ETNO, there is also Orange, respectively Deutsche Telekom.