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Consumer center speaks out against streaming tax

The EU Commission wants to involve foreign streaming providers in the financing of network expansion within the EU via a tax. The consumer association has now spoken out against this compulsory contribution: It would ultimately be at the expense of the users.

Sending Party Pays?

The so-called sending party pays model is currently being hotly debated in the EU. The basic idea is simple: if data is retrieved from servers of foreign streaming providers, they should finance the resulting data traffic. This would primarily benefit the local telecommunications companies, which are vehemently advocating such a compulsory levy. The project is being driven forward primarily by the telecommunications lobby association ETNO, in which Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, Swisscom and TIM are organized.

What may sound harmless at first has enormous consequences. Such a tax would violate the basic idea of network neutrality: The Internet would no longer be a space in which data traffic is treated equally, regardless of its origin or destination. Since 2016, all telecommunications providers in the EU have been bound by this principle, which is intended to ensure general equal treatment. With the sending-party-pays model, it would be revoked in favor of further commercialization of data traffic. Susanne Blohm, a consultant at the German Federation of Consumer Organizations, comments critically on the plan: “We are critical of a fee for using the Internet that has to be levied by telecommunications providers and paid by content providers. It would damage the existing economy and autonomy of the Internet. The negative consequences for competition, net neutrality and consumer interests outweigh the profit motives of the telecommunications industry.”

In addition, there are concrete experiences from South Korea, the only country to date that has introduced such a tax model. Streaming providers here have partially withdrawn from the market, scaled down their offerings and sometimes restricted streaming quality. Users are therefore suffering tangibly from the consequences of the tax. The currently growing market, recently AMC+ announced its German launch, for example, could thus be significantly impaired.

No legislative proposal yet

There is no concrete legislative proposal as yet. The German Federation of Consumer Organizations has now called on the EU Commission to give civil society initiatives as well as business and consumer associations the opportunity to state their position before such a bill is drafted and thus influence its further drafting.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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The EU Commission wants to involve foreign streaming providers in the financing of network expansion within the EU via a tax. The consumer association has now spoken out against this compulsory contribution: It would ultimately be at the expense of the users. Sending Party Pays? The so-called sending party pays model is currently being hotly … (Weiterlesen...)

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