Thousands in Hungary march against Internet tax

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Tens of thousands of protesters have marched against a plan by the Hungarian government to tax Internet use from 2015.

Speakers at Tuesday's rally called on Prime Minister Viktor Orban to withdraw the plan forcing Internet service providers to pay 700 forints ($2.89, 2.27 euros) per individual subscriber and 5,000 forints per business subscriber every month. There are concerns that the tax will not be absorbed by the service providers, as the government claims.

Initially, the tax was set to be 150 forints per gigabyte of Internet traffic, but the governing Fidesz party said it would set a cap on the levy.

Ryan Heath, spokesman for EU Digital Commissioner Neelie Kroes, said the plan was "a particularly bad idea" which would hinder economic growth.