UK Court Rules: Online News Services Are Not 'Newspapers'

The global debate over what constitutes a publication may have received some clarity in the UK, although it is not likely to make anyone happy.   

Britain’s top court ruled that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. cannot claim its online publications are “newspapers,” which are not responsible for value-added tax (VAT), Reuters reports.

A Murdoch spokesperson told Reuters that "Four courts have now considered the position and all found that the print and digital editions had fundamentally the same public purpose required to justify a zero rating and provided the same content.” 

This decision effectively negates that. 

News Corp. hoped to recoup more than 35 million pounds paid between 2010 and 2016,” Reuters continues.  

According to Reuters, the British government removed VAT obligations on digital publishing in 2020 to boost online readership the pandemic.

Newspapers, which are especially vulnerable to economic headwinds, might well deserve such consideration, but News Corp. is not getting it.  



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