The Guardian: Google News may shut over EU plans to charge tax for links. “Google’s top news executive has refused to rule out shutting down Google News in EU countries, as the search engine faces a battle with Brussels over plans to charge a ‘link tax’ for using news stories.” This discussion has been happening since at least 2015. Somebody ask Spain how it went.
The Economic Times: Google India tax row: $2 billion remittance in 5 years may add to tech giant’s load . “Google India has remitted over $2 billion from the revenue earned in the country over the past five financial years to the US-based search giant’s subsidiaries in Singapore and Ireland, an analysis of the company’s financial statements by ET shows.”
Bloomberg: How Big Tech Will Be Hit by U.K.’s New Digital Tax. “The U.K. has announced a tax targeting the likes of Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. in response to a growing chorus of criticism of cash-rich tech giants. The levy is the first major move by a government to turn disaffection against big tech into policy.”
Evening Standard: Social media giant Facebook pays £15 million tax on £1.2 billion UK revenues. “FACEBOOK faced fresh criticism today after revealing it paid £15.7 million in tax on UK revenues of £1.2 billion. The social media giant has more than tripled the amount it hands to the exchequer from £5.1 million in 2016, with profits up from £58.5 million to £62 million as revenues increased by a third.”
The Wire: Internet Taxes Could Stifle Africa’s Free and Vibrant Social Media. “The government of Benin has cancelled a recent decree that imposed a tax on users of platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. Known as ‘over-the-top’ platforms, they can deliver media content directly to users without using traditional telecommunications infrastructure such as terrestrial broadcast or satellite signals. Local and international activists protested against the decree in Benin arguing that it was a blatant attack on the freedom of expression and net neutrality.”
Quartz: Benin is the latest African nation taxing the internet. “Benin has joined a growing list of African states imposing levies for using the internet. The government passed a decree in late August taxing its citizens for accessing the internet and social-media apps. The directive, first proposed in July, institutes a fee (link in French) of 5 CFA francs ($0.008) per megabyte consumed through services like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. It also introduces a 5% fee, on top of taxes, on texting and calls, according to advocacy group Internet Sans Frontières (ISF).”
Techdirt: A Link Tax Won’t Bring Back Journalists; It Will Do Even More Harm To Them. “While most of the attention on the upcoming votes around the EU Copyright Directive is on the mandatory filters found in Article 13, we should be just as concerned about the link tax in Article 11. European publishers have been flat out lying about the proposal, which is little more than an attempt to just demand cash from Google and Facebook. We’ve already explained why this is a bad idea. And it’s not a theoretical issue either. This very same proposal has been tried in Germany and Spain and it failed miserably in both places, to the point of doing serious damage to traffic to news sites, without increasing revenue.”