Oettinger Sees Fair Compromise on Possible Google Tax

The European Union is discussing “pragmatic solutions” on what would be the fairest outcome for intellectual property owners, publishers and the services offered by Google Inc., the EU’s digital economy chief said.

What’s needed is a “fair balance” between all those interest groups, EU Digital Economy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told Bloomberg Television in an interview today, in answer to a question whether any solution could involve a levy on Google for its use of intellectual property, such as on its Google News service. Oettinger first touted the idea in an interview with Handelsblatt in October.

“We are inviting all stakeholders to come to a fair solution and no doubt there are different interests, but at the end of the day we can come to fair compromises,” he said.

The EU’s so-called net neutrality plans that would prevent operators from favoring certain traffic will be discussed by member states “in the next weeks and we can come to a decision, that’s my expectation, before mid-year,” Oettinger said. What’s needed is “a clear wording, clear obligations and clear rules for everybody using the Internet.”

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