Online businesses may face additional fees under EU rules

The world’s largest online platforms could face an annual fee of up to 0.1% of annual net income to cover the regulatory costs of complying with European Union (EU) rules requiring them to police their content, Reuters reported on Tuesday April 5.

The Digital Services Act (DSA), which includes fees, is expected to be approved by lawmakers and the EU this month. This levy would be a first for the European Commission, the executive body of the 28-member bloc.

“The overall amount of the annual monitoring fees is based on the estimated costs that the Commission incurs in the context of its monitoring tasks under this Regulation”, according to the document consulted by the news agency.

The imposition of the tax comes as the commission seeks revenue to boost EU economic growth after the pandemic and to encourage a more digital economy.

The commission said assessment fees should be balanced against the size of the service, as reflected by the number of users in the EU. Additionally, the panel defines large online platforms subject to the measure as any company with 45 million or more monthly users.

Last month, Reuters reported that EU antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said an agreement between governments and parliamentarians from the bloc on the DSA could be reached in April.

Read more: EU content moderation rules could soon apply to big tech

Vestager came up with the DSA over a year ago. This forces digital companies to do more to fight illegal content or face fines of up to 6% of their global turnover.

EU governments and lawmakers are debating what constitutes a lawful online marketplace and what criteria should be used to ban targeted advertising.

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