A digital levy in the EU: Our response to the European Commission consultation

A digital levy in the EU: Our response to the European Commission consultation

Last February, the European Commission opened a public consultation process as part of its work to create a digital levy in the EU. This is not only in response to the economic and business changes that have been accelerated by the pandemic, but also to bring order to the different initiatives from the Member States. Appropriate taxation for the digital economy, with its ability to break down political boundaries, is a matter of great global interest and a subject that both the G20 and the OECD are also working on. 

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Digitalization must transform health management now: We need a clear strategy

Digitalization must transform health management now: We need a clear strategy

The pandemic that has been raging for more than a year is dramatic proof of the weaknesses in health systems, even in the most developed countries. In Spain, whose situation during the first wave was particularly dramatic, recognized experts had warned even before coronavirus that the National Health System was overwhelmed, especially in the area of primary care and public health.

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Europe, facing regulation of the data economy: The dangers of a late, incomplete response

Europe, facing regulation of the data economy: The dangers of a late, incomplete response

The regulatory offensive being done by the European Union with the so-called ‘gatekeepers’ of the digital economy – the large Internet platforms – just might be a before and after in the unbalanced market position these enjoy. However, both the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act ignore a key element in regulating the use and exchange of personal data: an economic calculation of the consumer-digital relationship. 

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The ‘shadow value of personal data’: What value does something apparently “free” have for the consumer?

The ‘shadow value of personal data’: What value does something apparently “free” have for the consumer?

Various events are being held this week to celebrate World Consumer Rights Day, a day in which civil society and regulators defend the rights of citizens-consumers. This year, the date takes on a special relevance. This is because it is being held in the midst of major discussions within the European institutions that are designing one of the most important regulatory frameworks for the coming years, that is, the ‘Digital Acts’ regulatory package: DSA, DMA, and DGA.

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World Consumer Rights Day: Do big tech companies respect yours?

World Consumer Rights Day: Do big tech companies respect yours?

March 15 marks World Consumer Rights Day, a commemoration established by the United Nations in 1983. The choice of March 15 comes from a speech delivered on that day in 1962 by John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Speaking at the United States Congress, the then U.S. president defined the consumer as an essential element in the production process, recognising their political relevance and urging institutions to protect their rights.

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The future of work, according to Uber

The future of work, according to Uber

For years we have been witness to a range of debates, formulations, and written proposals on the future of work. The impact of digitalization and technological change sparks many of these debates, as do trends that have long existed as a result of changes in how the workforce is composed, business models, and, ultimately, the process of globalisation that accelerated at the end of the last century.

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Big tech lobbying in Brussels: A lot of money. Too much influence?

Big tech lobbying in Brussels: A lot of money. Too much influence?

It’s no surprise the Silicon Valley tech giants are paying close attention to regulatory activity in the European Union. As of March 2015, when then-Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the Digital Single Market, Europe has been setting a distinct profile in its conception of digitalization, a profile that is increasingly uncomfortable for the so-called Big Five or GAFAM – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. Some of the issues the Commission is prioritising through the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act are potentially very dangerous for the business model of companies like Google and Facebook. And we’re talking about a market of more than 450 million people. 

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Don’t say marketplace, say Amazon

Don’t say marketplace, say Amazon

A recent report by analysis firm Credit Suisse predicted that Inditex, the Spanish multinational that owns the Zara brand, would end up selling its garments on Zalando, a German marketplace. The report foresaw that the same would happen with another important European textile giant, H&M. It would be, according to Credit Suisse, not only a logical step but also a necessary one in the face of how rapidly physical commerce is evolving, which is in a sharp decline that has been accelerated by the pandemic. 

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