Paris, Rome and Madrid want Gafa to help pay for EU telecommunications networks

Elvira Pollina and Giuseppe Fonte

MILAN (Reuters) – France, Italy and Spain are stepping up pressure on the European Commission to draft a regulation to allow digital giants to fund telecommunications infrastructure within the EU bloc, a document seen on Monday said.

This is the first time that the three governments of the European Union have shared their views on the file, while European regulators indicated last May that they were considering asking Google, Meta and Netflix to share some of the costs of developing the file. telecommunication networks.

In a joint document, a copy of which Reuters was able to see, Paris, Rome and Madrid indicate that the top six digital content providers account for 55% of Internet traffic.

“This comes at a cost to European telecom operators in terms of bandwidth, during a period in which they are already investing heavily in the most expensive parts of 5G and fiber networks,” it said.

France, Italy and Spain are calling on the EU executive to propose a bill “ensuring that all market participants contribute to digital infrastructure spending,” the document adds.

Two Italian government officials confirmed the details of the joint document.

No comments were received from the governments of France and Spain.

According to a study published earlier this year by the industry lobby, the digital giants’ annual contribution of €20 billion could boost the European economy by €72 billion.

(Report by Elvira Pollina in Milan and Giuseppe Fonte in Rome; French version by Jean Tertian)

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