April 26, 2018 / 3:49 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 3-EU strikes deal forcing Netflix, Amazon to fund European content

* Video-on-demand services can be required to pay levies

* Deal extends traditional broadcasting rules to online players

* On-demand catalogues to have at least 30 pct of European content

* Deal still needs to be formally endorsed (Adds details on Netflix, Ansip quote)

By Julia Fioretti

BRUSSELS, April 26 (Reuters) - Online streaming services including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video could be required by countries to help fund European films and TV shows under a preliminary deal struck by EU lawmakers and member states on Thursday.

The new law extends the European Union's broadcasting rules to online video services and includes a quota of at least 30 percent for European works on video-on-demand platforms.

Video-sharing platforms like Google's YouTube and Facebook will also have to take measures against content "inciting violence, hatred and terrorism."

Online platforms will need to create a "transparent, easy-to-use and effective mechanism to allow users to report or flag content."

"They (the new rules) encourage innovative services and promote European films – but also protect children and tackle hate speech in a better way," said Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President.

The revised rules will apply to traditional broadcasters as well as to video-on-demand platforms and live streaming online, such as Facebook Live.

EU member states will have the option of requiring streaming services not based in that country but targeting their audience to contribute financially to the production of European works, such as by directly investing in them or paying into national funds.

Under the current rules member states can only make on-demand services based in their jurisdiction pay into European content.

The level of contribution in each country will be proportional to the on-demand revenues in that country.

Netflix already funds European series such as La Casa de Papel in Spain, Suburra in Italy and Black Mirror in the UK.

Earlier this month the streaming company unveiled 10 new European projects including seven series, two documentaries and one film.

"The EU’s regulation of video sharing platforms is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done to examine online liability and protect EU citizens by bringing online platforms up to the same regulatory standard as TV," said David Wheeldon, Group Director of Policy and Public Affairs, at broadcaster Sky .

Thursday's agreement still needs to be formally approved by both the whole European Parliament and EU member states. (Reporting by Julia Fioretti; editing by Foo Yun Chee and Alexandra Hudson)

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