Google, Facebook ads: Three cellphone operators spent Tk 87.4b in five years

FE Report | Friday, 23 August 2019

Three top mobile phone operators -- Grameenphone, Banglalink and Robi -- paid Tk 87.44 billion (Tk 8744.19 crore) to search engine Google and social media platform Facebook for online advertisements in the last five years.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said this in a report submitted to the High Court bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Ashraful Kamal on Thursday.

AKM Alamgir, a lawyer for the BTRC, submitted the report signed by the Deputy Director of System and Services Department of BTRC, Md Nahidul Hasan.

Earlier on April 18, 2018, the High Court issued an order to probe tax evasion by all Internet-based brands including Google and Facebook and submit a report following a writ petition.

Secretaries of the finance, law and information ministries, Bangladesh Bank governor, NBR chairman and BTRC Chairman were asked to constitute the probe committee.

At the hearing on Thursday, Advocate Mohamamd Humayun Kabir Pallab appeared for the writ petitioners while Deputy Attorney General Tushar Kanti Roy stood for the state. Advocate Humayun Kabir and five others Supreme Court lawyers filed the writ petition.

After the hearing on the report, the court ordered the NBR (National Board of Revenue) to submit on October 20 a report containing information about revenue collection from the Internet-based brands and stating what steps have been taken by the NBR to collect revenue from them.