EU wants to make e-books, e-newspapers cheaper

The European Union wants to apply the same sales tax rules for digital books and newspapers as their print versions, in a move that would bring down the price of electronic publications.

The EU Commission on Thursday proposed that electronic publications could get the same reduction in value added tax as some member states have been applying to the printed version for years.

The executive of the 28-nation bloc stressed that the proposal would not force member states to impose such tax reductions.

Electronic publications currently amount to about 5 percent of the total in the EU, but are expected to reach about 20 percent by 2021.