EXCLUSIVE Big online businesses must pay 0.1% monitoring fee under new EU rules

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BRUSSELS, April 5 (Reuters) – Major online platforms must pay up to 0.1% of their annual net income to cover the costs of monitoring compliance with new European Union rules requiring them to do more to monitor their content, according to an EU document.

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

“The aggregate amount of the annual surveillance fee will be based on the estimated costs incurred by the Commission in carrying out its surveillance tasks under this Regulation,” the document, which has been seen by Reuters, reads.

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“The royalty shall not exceed 0.1% of the supplier’s aggregate annual net income of very large online platforms (or very large search engines) in the preceding financial year,” the document states.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager told lawmakers and member states last month that the charges could bring in between 20 million euros ($22 million) and 30 million euros a year, said to Reuters a person with direct knowledge of the case.

Non-profit providers of very large online platforms and very large online search engines will be exempt from fees, according to the document, a move that will benefit companies such as Wikipedia and research organizations.

The Commission did not respond to a request for comment.

“We want the DSA implementation to be successful and support proportionate monitoring fees, backed by a detailed methodology and commensurate with industry standards,” Alphabet (GOOGL.O) told Google.

($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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