For the president of Arcep, the Internet is a common good, and in the interview he gives to the site Actors Publics, he castigates “a form of capitulation in the public debate” in the face of the domination without sharing the cake by the American giants of the Web (the Gafam).
“Taxing the giants of the Web will not be enough to put down their domination,” this statement gives the tone of the interview given yesterday to the site Acteurs Publics by the boss of Arcep, Sebastien Soriano, an interview in the form of statement for the one who runs a body that still does not have jurisdiction over the regulation of the digital giants.
For the record, an expansion of the regulator’s powers had been mentioned during the gestation of the law for a digital Republic (launched by Fleur Pellerin and taken over by Axelle Lemaire) but had been retold.
In this interview, the president of the regulatory authority for telecommunications (Arcep) believes that the authorities must ask the question of “how to dismantle Google”, calling for more regulation of digital platforms.
“I see a form of capitulation in the public debate.The domination of the Gafam (the American giants of the web, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, Editor’s note) is experienced as evidence.The fact of not choosing its engine of research or its social network, “said Sebastien Soriano.
The Tribune had imagined, in a prospective exercise, the dismantling of Google in 2025 by the US competition authority.
Helping European startups that respect our values
“The political attention has thus focused on the symptoms of this domination (privacy, opening the market to French start-ups, fake news) instead of acting on their causes!”, He lamented.
For Soriano, “the question is not ‘Should we dismantle Google?’, But ‘How to dismantle Google?'”
“We must determine what are the levers of regulation to put in place to reopen the game, to emerge alternatives to Gafam respectful of human rights and values that are ours.”
He adds that it is up to the public authorities, therefore, to define legal tools to support these alternative startups and who have the respect of these values in their DNA so that they quickly catch up with the effects of scale that escape them. .
Tax Gafam more effectively will be the mother of the battles
Asked about European efforts to tax more effectively digital giants, the president of Arcep said it was “the mother of the battles”.
“Taxing Gafam is a structural problem In the Fordist era (the rise of mass production, Editor’s note), we invented VAT In the digital age, we must invent the equivalent of VAT”, he insisted.
“It’s a challenge, because the digital economy works on the data, which is in itself intangible and does not correspond to any absolute value, but be careful: taxing the Gafam will not be enough to put down their domination”, warned Mr. Soriano.