Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced the planned internet tax of HUF150 (around USD60) per gigabyte (GB) of data traffic has been shelved. Following mass civilian protests as well as complaints from internet service providers (ISPs) in Hungary, Orban stated: ‘This tax in its current form cannot be introduced because the government wanted to extend a telecommunications tax, but the people see an internet tax…If the people not only dislike something but also consider it unreasonable then it should not be done.’ The Hungarian leader commented on ‘the huge profit generated online…and whether there is a way to keep some of it in Hungary and channel it into the budget’, but declared ‘we do not have to deal with this now’. Outgoing European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, said she is ‘very pleased for the Hungarian people’ and ‘proud the EC played a positive role in defending…a digital Europe’. Magyar Telekom (M-Tel), the largest internet provider in Hungary, is said to have seen a 4.64% increase in its share price up to HUF338 following Orban’s announcement, following a drop after initial reports on the tax implementation, according to the Budapest Business Journal. The matter of internet tax is not completely dismissed however, with Orban saying it will be discussed in a national consultation in January 2015.
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