Telecom companies urge the EU to request big technology to cover network costs

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  • Four people connected to the telecom industry claim that they are urging the European Union to adopt new legislation that would require major tech companies to pay for their networks, similar to what Australia has done. The majority of internet traffic in the region, is consumed by US technology firms like Alphabet’s Google, Facebook, and Netflix.

The communications advocacy group GSMA, which speaks for more than 750 cell companies, is presently debating the most recent unreported plan.

John Giusti, the GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer, stated without going into further detail about the plan, “The GSMA is organizing suggestions to address the contribution of big tech to European infrastructure investment.”

A letter will be sent to the EU’s industrial director, Thierry Breton, within the next five to six weeks, Giusti said. Google, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

A recently passed law in Australia, in its own disputes with Google and Facebook, has emerged as the carrier’s favorite weapon in its tussle with tech giants.

The proposal comes ahead of bloc consultations in 27 countries on so-called “fair share” contributions from companies such as Google, Netflix, Meta and Amazon, which account for more than half of Internet traffic.

The rule was originally intended to force tech giants to pay for online news content, but an Australian government-appointed arbitrator found no common ground for copyright between big tech companies and news publishers. You can set the price if you want.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp signed a content supply deal with Meta’s Facebook in Australia last year, helping to end a controversy that saw the social media giant temporarily shut down thousands of pages in the country.

Under Australia’s mandatory final offer arbitration, the parties must negotiate in good faith. However, if no agreement can be reached between them, they must present their offers and leave it to the arbitrators to choose one. The aim is to encourage tech giants and news outlets to come to an agreement before they are forced to choose this last resort.

Operators that are part of the GSMA, including Europe’s largest companies such as Orange, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica, agree that the Australian way is the best approach. formal documents have not yet been sent to Breton. Officials are debating whether the proposal will be made directly by the GSMA or by a group of chief executives.

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