EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton stated that he would not take sides in the debate over big tech companies paying their fair share of taxes, which is expected to be a hot topic at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The event provides a venue for technology companies to showcase their wares and discuss industry issues. According to the article, some politicians and policymakers advocate for higher taxes on large technology companies, while others argue that the current tax system is adequate. As technology companies grow in size and influence, the debate is expected to continue.
Breton defended a 12-week consultation launched last week at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) that could require Big Tech to bear more of the costs. “The real challenge for me is to ensure that our fellow citizens and businesses on our streets across the EU – including here in Barcelona – have access to fast, reliable, and data-intense Gigabit connectivity by 2030,” he said.
Meanwhile, Google, Meta, and Netflix are expected to oppose the idea. While Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, and Telecom Italia have actively advocated for Big Tech to pay the fees. The Dutch government has also warned against charging tech companies for internet access, becoming the first EU government to criticize Breton’s consultation. It claimed that such a move would violate net neutrality rules and result in price increases for Europeans.
Other topics to be discussed include the rate of 5G adoption, which has disappointed some executives, and the potential applications of generative AI systems like OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.