Majority of EU countries against network fee levy on Big Tech, sources say

European Union countries' flags at European Union Council in Brussels, Belgium, Jan 31, 2020. [Olivier Hoslet/Reuters]

A majority of EU countries have rejected a push by Europe's big telecoms operators to force Big Tech to help fund the rollout of 5G and broadband in the region, people familiar with the matter said.

Telecoms ministers from 18 countries either rejected or criticized the proposed network fee levy on tech firms at a meeting with EU industry chief Thierry Breton in Luxembourg on Thursday, the sources said.

That echoed comments made last month by EU telecoms regulators' group BEREC.

Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Telecom Italia want Big Tech to shoulder part of the network costs and have found a receptive ear in the European Commission's industry chief Breton, a former chief executive of France Telecom and French IT consulting firm Atos.

Alphabet Inc's Google, Apple Inc, Meta Platforms Inc, Netflix Inc, Inc and Microsoft Corp have...

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