The scam is it’s an unregulated global monopoly, so it can. According to an innocuous looking email from Google, these charges are being added to:
…cover a portion of the costs associated with complying with digital services tax legislation…”
Google even calls it the DST – Digital Services Tax. The DST is being levied at different rates for different jurisdictions. In most countries the new levy is 2%, except in Austria and Turkey where it will be 5%.
We are not familiar with what draconian regulatory schemes exist for Google in Austria and Turkey, but here in Australia we know what it is – which is not much at all. And they paid no tax on their 2020 revenue of $5.2 billion.
At this stage there is no mention of what the surcharge will be in Australia, but watch this space. Google will no doubt be looking to cover the not so great costs of the not so draconian “Digital Media Bargaining Code” legislation that was recently enacted to force Google and Facebook and a few others to pay for their content. A mere 2% on top of their $5 billion advertising revenue would more than cover that.
The things you can do when you have monopoly power in an unregulated market …
Protection Racket: Digital Media Code a farce as Google and Facebook not “designated”