Meta, Netflix or Google usage fees? Germany brakes on the subject of data tolls
The EU Commission wants tech giants to share in the costs of telecom infrastructure. The federal government is resisting the proposal – and adopting the arguments of the tech lobbyists.
Hamburg, Berlin The EU Commission’s idea of sharing the costs of internet infrastructure with large technology groups can best be described with an analogy from road traffic. Like on the freeway, there is also a lot of traffic going from A to B on the network – except that there are no cars on the move, only data.
If Commissioners Thierry Breton and Margrethe Vestager have their way, those responsible for large amounts of data in the digital transport system will soon be paying to use it. Such a “data toll” could bring in billions of euros, which should accelerate the expansion of modern infrastructure such as fiber optic lines and 5G mobile communications.
The telecom industry has been demanding such a levy for years. At the beginning of December, the Handelsblatt reported extensively on the EU Commission’s plans. It also came to light that Deutsche Telekom is arguing with the Facebook group Meta at the same time in the Bonn district court about cost sharing.