Meta Platforms has expressed its stance regarding subsidies from Big Tech, suggesting that European Union telecoms operators should consider it as a last resort for covering their network costs.
Over the past two decades, leading mobile operators like Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, and others have been advocating for contributions from U.S. tech giants towards the rollout of 5G and broadband infrastructure, citing their significant contribution to internet traffic in the region.
Earlier this year, the European Commission initiated a consultation to explore the possibility of tech giants sharing the burden of Europe’s telecoms network costs. However, companies like Meta have argued that this approach fails to address the financial challenges faced by telcos and disregards the substantial investments made by tech companies in the sector.
Meta emphasized that telcos receiving subsidies should be subject to robust regulatory oversight, including measures to ensure that the funds are exclusively allocated for network investments. In its response to the European Commission’s consultation on network fees, Meta stated that the demonstration of sincere engagement with content application providers (CAPs) should be a prerequisite for telcos seeking subsidies, aimed at finding technical, non-subsidy solutions.
Furthermore, Meta proposed that subsidies should be awarded through a competitive tendering process to ensure fair access for all network operators, not just the major players. The company also suggested that incumbent operators benefiting from government-like bailouts should face additional restrictions, such as the elimination of executive bonuses, compensation caps, and freezes on dividends.
Earlier reports from Reuters revealed that the majority of European Union countries have opposed the idea of imposing a network fee on Big Tech. Meta’s recommendations aim to address the complexities of the issue and establish a more balanced approach to financial support for telecoms operators.