February 7th, local time, the British Sunday Times reported that the British government was considering doubling taxes on Amazon and other technology companies whose profits soared during the pandemic.
In fact, it is not only the British government who “whands the knife” of the technology giant…
Technology giants during the pandemic: sit back and profit and expand against the trend
The global technology and telecommunications industry spent more than $600 billion on mergers and acquisitions in 2020, setting another industry high, according to data released by S&P Global Market Intelligence on February 3.
According to the analysis, the rapid growth of the technology industry is closely related to the pandemic and the characteristics of Internet enterprises.
On the one hand, the isolation and pandemic prevention measures adopted by many countries directly drive the rapid growth of new businesses such as cloud computing, e-commerce, remote services, etc., and the market value and turnover of relevant technology enterprises have risen against the trend.
On the other hand, the pandemic has hit small and medium-sized enterprises and brought good opportunities for technology giants to buy bottoms.
According to incomplete statistics, the five major technology giants in the United States (Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google parent company Alphabet, Amazon) completed more than 50 mergers and acquisitions in 2020, the fastest investment and acquisition speed since 2015.
Profits soared. The British government plans to double taxes on e-commerce giants.
According to the statistics of Consumer News and Business Channel, the market value of the seven major technology companies in the United States, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and other companies, increased by $3.4 trillion in 2020, which is equivalent to the total revenue of the U.S. federal government for the whole year.
Among them, Amazon, an e-commerce giant, performed well, with a market value of $710 billion in 2020, and a net profit of $21.331 billion, an increase of 84% year-on-year.
This also means that e-commerce is further eroding the offline retail market.
The Sunday Times reported on the 7th that Amazon’s sales in the United Kingdom soared by 51% in 2020, but the tax paid did not increase. This makes the British government worry that the existing tax system will “kill” offline retail enterprises.
In response, the United Kingdom plans to impose a “violent profit tax” on online retailers and technology companies that have soared during the pandemic, with Amazon and other companies bearing the brunt.
In addition to tax issues, the technology giants’ acquisition of large advertising profits by virtue of their technological advantages during the pandemic has also aroused dissatisfaction in the media industry.
Canadian media launches “vanishing headlines” campaign
On February 4th, local time, many Canadian media such as the Toronto Star, the National Post and other published blank front pages to protest Google, Facebook and other companies to seize advertising revenue.
John Boynton, CEO of the Toronto Star, wrote: “Traditional media coverage of true and reliable news is expensive.
Technology giants such as Google and Facebook refuse to pay for the media content they use, and have also seized more than 80% of advertising profits in Canada.”
Bowenton called for government legislation to force these social media to pay for content produced by traditional media.
Canadian Minister of Cultural Heritage Gilber also promised to push forward a new law this year to provide journalists with a fairer business model.
The era of strengthening supervision has come.
“Internet companies in Silicon Valley are becoming stronger than governments, and they have a voice in the digital age and try to influence the world.”
——Lucy Green “Silicon Valley Empire”
On December 15 last year, the European Union announced drafts of the Digital Market Bill and the Digital Services Bill, which are intended to limit the improper competition behavior of technology giants.
On the same day, the British government released the “Online Security Legislation” plan to strengthen the supervision of the release of illegal content on online platforms.
The U.S. government has also launched a number of antitrust lawsuits against Google, Facebook and other companies.
On February 4, Klobuchar, the new head of the U.S. Senate Antimonopoly Committee, proposed to amend the anti-monopoly law to raise the threshold for technology giants to acquire other companies.
Regulation, taxation and restrictions have become a global trend to tighten the control of technology giants.
In December last year, the Australian government forced legislation requiring online platforms to pay for reprinted and shared news content.
Facebook and Google once refused to implement it, and even threatened to withdraw from the country.
On February 5, Google compromised and promised to pay for some media content, while also looking for the possibility of appeal.
Bloomberg said that the giants are “difficult to change” in monopoly.