The Group of 7 countries reached an agreement on taxing multinational companies, like big tech, to limit their tax avoidance by registering in countries with low corporate tax. The companies should pay tax in countries where they do business and global minimum corporate tax rate should be 15%, the finance ministers agreed. G7 countries are US, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan
There were several EU actions of importance for IT and media during the week. The EU Commission issued a statement noting June 7 is deadline to implement the new copyright directive in national legislation. The controversial Article 17 on how to block unregulated uploading of copyrighted content will only apply to online service providers and online audio and video streaming service providers which make money from copyrighted work uploaded to their platforms by their users.
The EU Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation of Facebook’s use of advertising data to see if the company is violating EU rules by using advertising data from advertisers to compete with them in classified ads. “Following a preliminary investigation, the Commission has concerns that Facebook may distort competition for the online classified ads services”, the Commission said. Facebook said accusations “are without merit”.
Germany’s competition authority launched an investigation of Google news showcase saying it must be ensured that not some publishers are discriminated. The Google show case makes agreements to pay selected publishers while the EU’s new copyright directive means that big tech companies should compensate publishers in general for using their content.
Employment growth after the pandemic will be insufficient to make up for the losses suffered until at least 2023. The crisis hit women disproportionately. Women employment declined by 5 per cent in 2020 compared to 3.9 per cent for men, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Both the White House and Microsoft issued warnings for more cyberattacks. After some saying the latest attacks are from Russia, the issue is on the agenda for the Biden-Putin summit in Geneva on June 16. US security authority said private sector must recognize the dire threat that hacks pose to its companies recommending multifactor authentication, bolstering security teams, regularly testing backups and updating patches, testing incident response plans and separating and limiting internet access to operational networks.
Microsoft’s VP Tom Burt said impactful nation-state attacks continue to occur. “It is clear we must accelerate the work underway by the private sector and government to address our collective cybersecurity.”
Facebook decided to suspend Donald Trump’s account at least until January 2023 which means he will be without his account over the national midterm elections in November 2022 but could be open prior to the presidential elections in 2024. His account was closed after the Capitol Hill riots on January 6. Trump said Facebook’s ruling is an insult to those who voted for him last year.