Final Word from Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The U.S. Justice Dept. announced an antitrust review yesterday of the "widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online." Two weeks earlier, the U.S. Trade Representative sent a different message by initiating a Section 301 investigation into France's 3% digital tax. The U.S. acknowledges that the tech giants might "smother competition" (as the FT put it), but Donald Trump wants to be the one to police and punish Facebook, Google and Amazon. Czechs (other than Daniel Křetínský) haven't been paying much attention to this international row so far, but the explanatory memorandum to the 7% digital tax proposed by the finance ministry presents a scary picture for the Czech media and online industry as a whole. The ministry estimates that its digital tax would raise Kč 2.4-6.6bn per year, which would mean that the tech giants (Microsoft and Priceline are also mentioned) are raking in between Kč 34bn and Kč 94bn in the CR annually. Home-grown tech giant had revenue last year of Kč 4.5bn. [ Czech Republic Blesk GAFA Apple Big Tech United States president Alphabet ]

Glossary of difficult words

to smother - to suffocate or stifle; to kill (someone) by covering his or her nose and mouth so as to bring on suffocation;

row - a dispute or argument;

to rake in - to make a lot of money by doing (something);

home-grown - grown or produced in one's own garden or country.


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