April 30, 2019 / 7:00 AM / a month ago

Czech PM: sector tax on mobile operators still an option -newspaper

PRAGUE, April 30 (Reuters) - Czech mobile phone operators could still face a sector tax in the future, Prime Minister Andrej Babis was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Babis said on Monday he remained opposed to sector taxes despite allowing discussions with junior government party the Social Democrats, who are seeking a bank tax to help boost budget revenue.

“By principle I reject a sector tax, but mobile operators would be deserving because they are abusing their market position and, even more, are arrogant,” Babis told Pravo newspaper.

Babis’s government has pushed mobile operators over data prices that are ranked among the highest in the European Union.

It has backed an auction of new-generation 5G frequencies due later this year that will seek to bring a fourth operator to the country to boost competition against incumbents O2 Czech Republic, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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