New Bill Proposes Subsidizing Local Israeli Content With 'Google' Tax

Netanyahu's post-Davos comment that he wanted a favorable climate for Internet companies could indicate that the bill doesn't have his support.

A new Knesset bill proposes subsidizing local content publishers by taxing search engine ad revenues at a rate of 7 percent.

The bill does not mention any search engine by name, though it is being referred to as the "Google Law," according to the Financial Times newspaper.

Israel is just one of several countries in which Google is blamed for eroding or undermining domestic journalism and newspaper publishing. So far, however, Google and its rivals have managed to escape the imposition of such levies.

The chances of the bill becoming law are unclear, the newspaper reported, pointing to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement over the weekend that he wanted the country to ensure a favorable – and not hostile – business climate for these [tech and internet] companies. That might indicate a lack of support for the bill, the FT wrote.