The European Union will consult the technology and telecoms sectors on whether tech giants like Alphabet Inc, Meta and Amazon.com Inc should subsidize network costs, according to a document seen by the Commission on Tuesday.
The six largest content providers in Europe, including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, and Telecom Italia, say they account for more than half of the data internet traffic and should contribute their fair share. The providers also point to Apple Inc, Apple Inc., and Microsoft Corp.
Tech giants claim that the idea is equivalent to an internet traffic tax that could interfere with the net neutrality rules in Europe.
The Commission's query is part of a 19-sided document that the EU executive drafted before it proposes legislation.
The EU executive is expected to publish the document next week in order to get feedback from telecoms operators and Big Tech, although the timing may change. The legislation is about to be finalized with the help of EU countries and lawmakers.
Some stakeholders suggested a mandatory mechanism of direct payments from CAPs content application providers LTGs large traffic generator to contribute to finance network deployment. The questionnaire asked.
The questionnaire also asks who the mechanism should apply; whether it would negatively impact innovation, the internet, and consumers, and whether the EU should create a continental or digital levy or fund.
The EU will also be asking Big Tech and telecoms providers' investment spending and future developments, as well as a story this month, confirming a Reuters story this month.
The Commission's questionnaire asks questions that are intended to justify the 'fair share' narrative pushed by big telcos. An industry source said that it seems to ignore the impact on consumers and fundamental net neutrality protections.
The Commission is asking for detailed business information that is usually confidential, such as peering contracts. Key stakeholders are not included in this, which makes it hard for key stakeholders to take part.