BoC’s Wilkins urges tech giants to pay their fair share

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Bank of Canada outgoing vice-governor Carolyn Wilkins warned the global tech giants in one of her last public appearances as central banker on Thursday, saying they must “do their bit. share ”to the countries in which they operate.

Wilkins highlighted the growing competition in the tech space as well as advancing antitrust policy, especially for global tech giants, although she did not specify which companies.

“International tax policy reforms led by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the G20 are necessary for globally active digital businesses to contribute their fair share,” said Wilkins.

Wilkins made the comments during a virtual speech at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, in which she highlighted how the pandemic has affected Canada’s ability to generate sustainable business. , create good jobs and make high debt more manageable.

Taxing tech giants has recently emerged as a key political issue in Ottawa amid efforts to establish some sort of regulatory framework to ensure more controlled data collection and digital advertising. The framework was included in the Liberal Government’s 2019 Election Platform, which singled out national tax contributions from multinational corporations like Netflix Inc., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google Inc., and Amazon.com Inc.

The new tax plans have been welcomed by Canadian media, especially newspaper publishers, who lamented how companies like Google and Facebook Inc. have carved out the lion’s share of digital advertising revenues in the country. but have not paid the media for their copyrighted content.

Wilkins, whose last day at the Bank of Canada is Dec.9, said policymakers should recognize that social and economic goals must work together, not conflict with each other. She gave several examples, including the tech space, where innovations can sometimes come at a high cost to the livelihoods of workers in the sector.

“The innovations of the past decades in advanced economies have also contributed to the rise of superstar companies with considerable market power,” Wilkins said in a published copy of his remarks.

“The modern winner-take-all effect is magnified because user data has become a new source of monopoly power… It may mean that a handful of companies now account for a disproportionate share of jobs in an industry. or a given city, leaving many other workers with less bargaining power and stagnant wages. “



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