EU May Follow Congress In Grilling Big Tech CEOs

Two European lawmakers told CNBC they are eager to step up discussions with major tech CEOs as the debate over their dominance rumbles on.

The chiefs of Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google (referred to as GAFA) were grilled by the United States Congress on Wednesday, July 29, amid investigations as to whether these firms have abused their market dominance. The overall concern among many American lawmakers is that current antitrust laws — which aim to create fair market competition — are not fit for the digital economy.

This is a concern also shared by many lawmakers in Europe. “The Congressional hearing proved that antitrust tools in Europe and the United States … have their limits,” Luis Garicano, a Spanish economist and member of the European Parliament for the liberal group Renew Europe, told CNBC.

He added that the Parliament, the only directly-elected EU institution, is likely to intensify discussions over the future of competition rules after the summer.

In a letter to US lawmakers ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, Vestager wrote that “many if not most parts of today’s economy are becoming increasingly digitized” and while “these platforms can bring significant benefits,” there is a concern “that the reach and role of some platforms is unprecedented.”

“And that they have a gatekeeper role which means that if they act unchecked, they can also cause significant harm to competition, innovation and ultimately to consumers,” Vestager also wrote.

Full Content: CNBC

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