At a glance.
- Huawei restriction and a UK supplier squeeze.
- Microsoft is OK with Australia's pending media compensation rules.
- Mulling a global tech tax.
Lessons learned from London’s “supplier squeeze.”
Excluding Huawei from the UK’s 5G rollout left the country with only two viable suppliers, but plenty of worries about costs and resilience, the BBC reports. Proposed fixes centered on open standards are “too vague and too late,” and lawmakers fear history will repeat itself with developments in AI and quantum computing. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee wants a risk action plan, increased collaboration with allies, and further government involvement in R&D.
Media remuneration: Google vs. Australia, with Bing in the wings.
Reuters says draft Canberra legislation that would require Internet platforms to compensate news outlets for using their stories has found a friend in Microsoft. Facebook and Google are not so amenable to the proposal, and have threatened to take down “key services.” Google currently controls ninety-four percent of Australia’s web search market, but Microsoft’s Bing stands prepared to pick up the slack.
A global tech tax?
In another possible hit for Big Tech, Bloomberg reports that Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, and the ilk may shortly face tax hikes across the globe. The EU and US have long squabbled about who gets to tax tech–with the EU pulling for a piece of the Europe-generated ad revenue pie, and the US crying foul for unfair play–but the Biden Administration is showing signs of caving.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED), which is hosting tax talks between almost one-hundred-forty nations, expects to reach an agreement in a few months. Should negotiations stumble, the EU intends to implement a “bloc-wide” toll to redistribute some of that pandemic profit. Paris already imposed a three-percent digital revenue levy last year.
Facebook said it could get behind a standardized plan that replaces piecemeal solutions, while others predict costs will be passed along to users and small businesses. Apple, for one, has promised to boost prices.