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Should we Tax the Internet?

CEPS Conference Room
Place du Congrès 1 - 1000 Brussels

Participation in CEPS meetings is a benefit of membership. Non-members may be admitted for €150, to be paid upon receipt of an invoice. A light lunch will be served after the event from 12:30.

CEPS Event

Should we Tax the Internet?


There is a perception amongst some that multinational companies in the digital economy do not pay their fair share of corporation tax, avoid value added taxes, exploit others’ intellectual property without payment – essentially that they are free riders in the digital economy. National governments are responding individually in a number of ways. For instance, the UK has announced a 25% tax on foreign companies’ profits derived from economic activity in the UK. While this would affect all foreign companies, it would be felt particularly by those operating in the digital economy. Some countries (eg Germany, Spain) have introduced “ancillary copyright levies”, so that news aggregators would have to pay copyright fees for news search results.

The seminar seeks to explore these issues, some of the key topics include:

  • Do digital companies pay their fair share of corporation tax? If not, should their be a coordinated, international or European response, such as the OECD’s BEPS initiative?
  • Are ancillary copyright fees justified or do publishers benefit more from the traffic search engines provide? Is there a need for an EU policy?
  • How should VAT be applied in the digital economy?

 Summary of the event

"Should we tax the Internet?" Björn Westberg, Jönköping International Business School, Sweden 

"Comments on the Ancillary Copyright for press publishers", Dr. Till Kreutzer, iRights.info, Berlin

Colin Blackman
Colin Blackman

Associate Research Fellow

Speakers list
Björn Westberg

Professor, Jonkoping International Business School, Sweden

Julia Reda

MEP, European Parliament

Francine Cunningham

Executive Director, European Newspaper Publishers’ Association

Till Kreutzer

Fellow, iRights.info, Berlin