UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


IIPP hosts a debate in the UK parliament: Regulating the Internet giants

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 01 March 2018

Regulating the Internet giants

The UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose is organising an event in the UK Parliament to discuss a recent legislative proposal from the Italian Senate regarding how to regulate the digital economy. The Italian MP Massimo Mucchetti will present it, followed by a roundtable discussion chaired by IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato with Chi Onwurah MP, Rowland Manthorpe, Catherine Miller and William Perrin.

Event Information

Open to



UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


The Grimond Room, Portcullis House, 1 Parliament St, Westminster, London SW1A 2JR

The Italian Senate’s proposal for a national “web tax”

Public policies were key to the advent of the Internet, and should be equally active in regulating and fairly taxing those who have benefitted from it: the ‘Internet giants’ (e.g. Google, Facebook). But doing so represents a major challenge for today’s policy makers.

According to Massimo Mucchetti, multinational digital companies are operating today as the old oil companies did in the past. Almost all countries in the world are currently ‘data producers’, yet they are not adequately rewarded by the big digital companies that extract, ‘refine’ and sell this new resource. Data should be structured in ways that allow it to be a public good, not only a source of private profits.

The Italian Senate has recently elaborated a proposal which aims to create a more symbiotic relationship between the State and digital companies, with the establishment of an effective system of taxation on revenues and profits, a first step towards the regulation of these new digital monopolies. Mucchetti will introduce the proposal, and the expert roundtable will discuss it.

Main Speaker

Massimo Mucchetti, Member of the Italian Parliament and President of the Industry Committee in the Italian Senate.

Before being elected to Parliament in 2013, was deputy editor for top national newspaper Corriere della Sera and leading news magazine L’Espresso. He is also the author of many essays and books on the Italian economy.   

Roundtable discussion

Chaired by Mariana Mazzucato, Professor of Innovation and Public Value, IIPP Director
Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy  
Rowland Manthorpe, Associate editor, WIRED UK
Catherine Miller, Director of Policy, Doteveryone
William Perrin, Trustee, Indigo Trust, & co-founder, 360Giving

Please register for this event via eventbrite.

You can download an english translation of the proposal here.