The Online Advertising Tax: A Digital Policy Innovation

A Policy Paper by Christian Fuchs, published by CAMRI Policy Observatory and University of Westminster Press

Google and Facebook currently control close to two-thirds of global advertising revenue. While dominating the online advertising market, these two companies have thus far avoided paying adequate taxes.

This CAMRI policy brief presents a new policy innovation, the online advertising tax. Considering the key role of user activity and user data for the value of Google and Facebook’s services, it explains how digital advertising companies’ revenues could be taxed based on the respective country in which targeted users are located.

The author reviews existing policy arguments and policy options and sets out practical steps to ensure that tax avoidance by online advertising companies is mitigated. Furthermore, he illustrates how tax revenues could be used to support public service internet platforms.

How to cite this Policy Document

Fuchs, C. 2018. The Online Advertising Tax: A Digital Policy Innovation. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI:


This book distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

Christian Fuchs


Christian Fuchs is Professor at, and the Director of, the Communication and Media Research Institute. He is also Director of the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies.

His fields of expertise are critical digital & social media studies, Internet & society, political economy of media and communication, information society theory, social theory and critical theory.


21st June 2018
Research Area
Published By
CAMRI Policy Observatory and University of Westminster Press
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