The Government announces a rate for instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp

Technology News

The new telecommunications law will impose a tax on instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, will eliminate booths as a universal service and will reinforce the rights of telephone and Internet users.

This is established by the telecommunications bill, which this Friday the Government put out for public consultation and whose details were advanced at a press conference by the Secretary of State for Telecommunications, Roberto Sánchez.

Instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or Telegram that exceed one million euros of declared income in Spain must pay a tax of one per thousand of their billing. In addition, they will have to register in the Registry of Operators, make a declaration of annual income and increase their transparency in the conditions of provision of services.

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The Secretary of State said that the Government is “aware” that the rate will not affect the giants that, while operating in Spain, have their fiscal headquarters outside of Spain.

The WhatsApp rate will be added to the tax that the Government of Pedro Sánchez has announced for the Internet giants, known as the Google rate.

The end of the cabins
The preliminary draft, which the Government hopes to approve as a bill at the beginning of 2021 and which will come into force in the second or third quarter of next year, ends the obligation to have cabins in Spain, something demanded by the operators and the CNMC as it is a service that had been giving losses and is in disuse. Telefónica has been appointed in recent years by the Government to provide the service due to the lack of interest in the sector.

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The Secretary of State said that mandatory booths are disappearing, but there will continue to be the possibility of public telephones such as the coin phones that exist in bars in rural areas.

Clearer contracts with operators
In relation to consumers, contracts with operators must be clearer, will have a maximum duration of two years and the user will have the right to keep the balance, maintain the number or forwarding of messages for a period of time once the contract is terminated. There will also be guarantees accessibility to contracts for people with disabilities.

For operators, the minimum duration of licenses is de facto 20 years. The draft also regulates machine-to-machine services such as vending

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