Netflix May Be Legally Mandated To Raise Their Prices

Switzerland isn’t being neutral about streaming fees. The country’s parliament recently decided that streaming platforms and TV channels should invest 4 percent of profits back into the country’s film industry.

They also want 30 percent of content to be European. The proposed amendment is called “Lex Netflix,” or the Netflix Law. It’s part of broader legislation to promote local Swiss cinema in the country.

If the amendment passes, then the price of a Netflix subscription in Switzerland would go up, which already has the highest price for a standard subscription. However, it also has one of the largest selections of movies and shows in the world.

Younger members of Parliament are understandably against the amendment are trying to get signatures for a referendum against the move.

In Switzerland, any citizens or group of citizens can challenge any law if they collect enough signatures to do so. In this case, it’s 50,000. Collecting that amount of signatures would force a national vote on the issue.

Matthias Müller, the head of the referendum committee and also the president of Young Liberal Radicals, said the move by Parliament would particularly affect young people.

The Netflix Law is an unspeakable attack on the wallets of the consumers”, he said. “The promotion of cinema should be a mission of the State. It should be financed by taxpayers’ money.”

The biggest problem in collecting the signatures comes from an unlikely source – the weather. In Switzerland, Müller said, it’s harder to collect signatures when it’s cold and dark outside.

“Fall and winter are not an easy time to collect signatures in public places. But we’re still motivated to tackle it because we see major disadvantages of the film tax and the mandatory quota for Swiss films.”

Switzerland isn’t the first country to propose such a law. In fact, France has an “investment obligation” of 25 percent, and Italy has one at 20 percent. Is it possible a trend like this may also come to Netflix in the US? Only time will tell.