Smartphone buyers may soon have to pay the third-party levy that already applies to computers and tablets, as a bill by the Culture Ministry that became law last week has left the levy open for smartphones instead of exempting them. While the European Commission is probing this new charge, the association of apps producers is calling for the law’s annulment.
The new charge, commonly known as the “tablet levy,” is meant to be in favor of copyright holders. The omission of the precise rate to be imposed on smartphones – by far the most popular appliance in the market – means that the levy’s amount will be decided later, following consultation with hardware producers.
The issue came to the fore on Monday when the European Commission said it is urgently looking into the tax to establish whether it complies with the government’s bailout pledge to eradicate third-party levies.
On Tuesday, the Hellenic Association of Mobile Application Companies (SEKEE) blasted the measure, saying it “comes on top of a series of other levies with a clear character against growth, particularly damaging the sectors that produce cultural content.”