Amazon is expressing its concerns over the calls for an Internet Levy in Europe. The company believes that its work and investments in creating high-quality content and building digital infrastructure should be taken into account. Amazon has invested over €150 billion since 2010 to grow its business in the European Union and currently employs over 150,000 people.
The company emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between content producers and internet service providers. Amazon produces popular content for its streaming platform, Prime Video, and invests approximately $12 billion annually in original programming and licensed content. Additionally, Amazon is investing over $10 billion in expanding connectivity through its Project Kuiper, a satellite network that aims to provide affordable broadband to underserved communities.
Furthermore, Amazon’s web services division, AWS, has invested over €21 billion in cloud and edge infrastructure in Europe. This investment has resulted in the establishment of six EU regions and over 120 Content Distribution Network (CDN) points of presence across Europe. By storing data closer to customers, AWS reduces traffic on telecommunication networks and helps businesses reduce their energy consumption.
Amazon argues that implementing an Internet Levy would have severe consequences for businesses and Europe’s Digital Decade targets. It would raise the costs of cloud and content delivery networks, undermining small and medium-sized businesses powered these services. Additionally, it would likely discourage cloud adoption, hindering the EU’s objective of 75% of companies utilizing cloud services 2030.
The company also highlights concerns about the impact on consumers. An Internet Levy would increase costs for businesses, which could be passed onto consumers. It would undermine net neutrality and have negative effects on the quality and diversity of digital services. Amazon points to the example of South Korea, where a similar measure has had a negative impact on consumers.
In conclusion, Amazon believes that the proposed Internet Levy is unnecessary and would have detrimental effects on businesses, consumers, and Europe’s digital goals. The company urges the rejection of this proposal, emphasizing the need to consider the investments and contributions already made content producers and internet service providers.
Sources: Amazon, EU Commission consultation on the future of the electronic communications sector – Amazon’s position, “Unlocking Europe’s Digital Potential”, Public First, 2022.