France & Netherlands Unite To Back EU Big Tech Legislation

The EU’s markets regulator has been called on by French and Dutch officials to take preemptive measures against US tech giants to curb their ever-growing influence on markets.

French digital minister Cedric O and Netherlands secretary of state for digital affairs Mona Keijzer have put forward a paper calling on European regulators to act decisively against “gatekeeper” platforms, according to the Financial Times.

The EU has been devising legislation to regulate these companies, including the likes of Apple, Google, and Facebook, with regulators seeking broader powers to clamp down on anti-competitive industry practices.

Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, told the FT last month these new powers could also include the ability to break up or sell off operations in Europe if their dominance is deemed too dangerous to small businesses. These powers may even stretch to excluding big companies from the single market altogether.

The paper proposed by the French and Dutch ministers explore similar measures, including forcing these companies to allow users to take their private data to a competing platform. Other proposals include banning firms from promoting their own services, such as Google advancing its other interests ahead of similar services offered by smaller rivals.

“France and the Netherlands have different cultures and come from different positions,” said O, according to the FT. “But we have a common interest, from a sovereignty point of view, from a competition point of view to regulate tech players.”

Keijzer, meanwhile, added that regulators should devise rules that prevent platforms from becoming too big, adding “breaking up big companies can be a possibility.”

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