EXCLUSIVE Big online firms face 0.1% supervisory fee under new EU rules

BRUSSELS, April 5 (Reuters) — Major online platforms face a fee up to 0.1% of annual net income to cover the costs of monitoring compliance with new European Union rules requiring them to do more to police their content, an EU document shows.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) rules are likely to be agreed between EU countries and lawmakers later this month. Levying such a fee would be a first for the European Commission, which is the EU’s executive body.

«The overall amount of the annual supervisory fees shall be based on the estimated costs the Commission incurs in relation to its supervisory tasks under this Regulation,» the document, which was seen by Reuters, said.

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«The fee shall not exceed 0,1% of the global annual net income of the provider of very large online platforms (or very large search engine) in the preceding financial year,» the document said.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager told lawmakers and member states last month that the fee could raise between 20 million euros ($22 million) and 30 million euros annually, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Not-for-profit providers of very large online platforms and very large online search engines will be exempted from the fees, the document said, a move that will benefit companies such as Wikipedia and research bodies.

The Commission did not respond to a request for comment.

«We want the implementation of the DSA to be a success, and support supervisory fees that are proportionate, backed by a detailed methodology, and commensurate with industry standards,» Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google said.

($1 = 0.9156 euros)

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Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Alexander Smith

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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