Brussels, BELGIUM — In its proposal to reform European audiovisual rules, the European Commission is proposing to implement cross-border levies on video on demand (VOD) services, a measure that would lead to a fragmentation of the Digital Single Market, according to a new report commissioned by the Computer & Communications Industry Association. The paper examines how this measure would tilt the field against VOD services instead of creating a “level playing field” and would likely have unintended consequences and substantial implementation challenges.
Report authors Tim Suter and Rob Kenny of Communications Chambers spoke to reporters Tuesday as the report was released.
Suter said, “This proposal abandons key principles which have underpinned the success of the Digital Single Market. A deeply flawed process has led to a deeply flawed conclusion.”
Kenny said, “The supposed justification for these changes is a need to create a level playing field. But the Commission is applying cross-border levies only to VOD services, while leaving broadcasters with the advantages of free spectrum, prominence, must-carry and so on. This isn’t level – it’s the North Face of the Eiger. l”
CCIA Europe Public Policy Manager Maud Sacquet explained why her international nonprofit tech trade association commissioned the study:
“As Europe considers introducing cross-border levies on video-on-demand (VOD) services, we turned to these experts to understand how this proposal would fit with Europe’s broader goals to develop a Digital Single Market, and what unintended consequences and implementation challenges could result from this approach.”