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The government the development of the new Audiovisual Law and will launch its public hearing this Friday, or at the latest next week. As of this date, the draft may begin to receive the contributions of the different actors and sectors involved.
As he has been able to confirm Invest, The idea is to be able to have this process open for a month to be able to send the final project to the Cortes at the beginning of 2021, in line with the deadlines set by the Secretary of State for Telecommunications that already presented a few weeks ago the new Telecommunications Law. Following its calendar of projects, the only thing left to do is close the new Cybersecurity Law that is already under preparation, as this newspaper has already advanced.
In the case of Audiovisual Law, the main objective is to transpose the European regulations for the sector approved in November 2018. Brussels says that member states have two years to adapt their local legislation to European laws, a deadline that in this case expires in November 2020, but that has been expanded by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The community regulation seeks greater protection of children against audiovisual content, sets limits on advertising and promotes European production. The rules will apply to television networks, and also to video-on-demand platforms, such as Netflix, HBO, Prime o Disney+, and video distribution, such as YouTube y Facebook, as well as live broadcasts on these platforms.
In the Spanish case, what will generate more stir will be the equalization of the duties of foreign national operators in capital issues such as Spanish film production or the RTVE rate. The objective is that these new OTT platforms equate their tax burden to these players traditional and that contribute 5% of their operating income to finance European audiovisual production and 3% of their gross income to finance RTVE.
The RTVE case
In the first case, the platforms defend themselves by stating that their current commitment to European production is much greater than what the Law will require of them and that more than meet this quota.
In the case of RTVE, its financing law must be modified to receive this new income, which in principle opens the door to other pending modifications such as the resizing of its structure, its staff or the way to elect its directors and president. However, from the Executive any change in the financing system for public television is ruled out.
However, in both cases the question is the way in which the income of each operator will be established. At this point, the Executive believes that the best way is to respect the principle of country of origin that establishes the European Union. That is, calculate the tax based on the current corporate structures of Netflix y HBO.
In this sense, in principle it is ruled out to ask some body such as the CNMC to perform an estimated calculation or force them to declare their real users in Spain.
In the same way, imposing a specific rate for platforms such as Netflix is ruled out as speculated in recent months. In this case, the Executive considers that a new tax burden on these companies can be carried through the Google, which will begin to be charged at the end of the third quarter of next year.
The so-called Google rate is based on the fact that large digital companies –Google, Amazon, Facebook o Twitter- Taxes equivalent to the economic activity they register are not taxed in our country. A group in which the Executive also includes audiovisual platforms in streaming.
In the case of the latter, it is argued that the payment should be made for the commercial use it makes of the personal data of its users, by offering them recommendations or sending them commercial offers to their emails.
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