October 10, 2019
Italy in 2020 will begin imposing a 3% tax on digital services generating at least €5.5 million ($6 million) in annual revenue.
While the political move targets American streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and the pending Disney+ platform, Netflix is hardly scaling back its Italian operations.
The SVOD pioneer, which reportedly has 1.5 million subscribers in Italy, has inked a deal with Comcast-owned satellite TV operator Sky Italia offering subscribers direct access to the service.
Netflix will be available to Entertainment Plus and Sky Q Platinum subscribers.
Netflix began its partnership with Sky in 2018 in the United Kingdom, followed by Sky Deutschland.
Indeed, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was Italy this week to announce the opening of an office in the country as well as plans to invest €200 million ($220 million) in original Italian content production.
Establishing an office in Italy would also mitigate efforts by lawmakers seeking taxes from foreign online companies (notably Netflix) doing business within the country’s borders without a physical presence.
Netflix’s investment follows a previously-announced pact with Italian broadcaster Mediaset for the co-production of original Italian movies.