Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 09-08-2013
Brazil's Communications Ministry is considering applying a new tax system to over-the-top (OTT) operators so the same rules would apply to them as to pay-TV platforms, according to Exame magazine.
Minister Paulo Bernardo talked about the issue on the last day of ABTA 2013 in Sao Paolo. Bernardo explained that OTT operators earn money in Brazil but don't pay taxes. "The money go to the US; we're like a tax haven," said the minister. "The pay-TV sector complains about it, and they're right."
"There is no free competition. There are companies which are not placed here, they bring no jobs and don't even translate their sites, while making a lot of money," explained José Félix, president of Net Serviços.
The Brazilian telecom authority, Anatel, thinks there should be a law to force OTT companies to broadcast local content too. João Rezende, Anatel's president, pointed to the current direct-to-home (DTH) law, which obliges operators to have a local partner in order to pay taxes, as a possible model for the OTT regulation.
The arrival of OTT operators such as Netflix and Totalmovie has increased the competition between pay-TV operators, even though it's a growing market with over 17 million users. The cable and IPTV companies feel that it's unfair that they have different conditions and obligations than OTT providers, and highlighting this was one of the main goals of ABTA.