EU technology policy is not anti-American, says Vestager

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s head of digital policy and competition, has rejected the idea that her next Digital Markets Act (DMA) will only apply to American technology companies.

She spoke after him The White House has warned Brussels that the tone around its flagship policy on new technology sent a negative message and suggested that the EU “is not interested in engaging with the United States in good faith” over the challenges posed by major technology platforms. .

In an interview with the Financial Times, Vestager, who met with President Joe Biden during his visit to Brussels this week, said: [DMA] it is not directed towards certain companies or towards certain nationalities of companies ”.

The DMA describes new rules for platforms considered large enough to be “guardians.”

“What we developed as we tried to understand who should be on target and who should be a potential guardian, was about the effects of the market,” Vestager said.

She said the draft legislation, which will now be debated by the European parliament, focuses on the “market effects” of Big Tech’s dominance over smaller rivals.

He suggested that the criteria developed by the EU help frame a broader focus than just the biggest Silicon Valley companies: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. “We made this proposal with a larger scope for good reasons due to the effects of the market,” he said.

Vestager’s comments will be seen as Brussels ’way of trying to calm tensions between the EU and the US at a time when the two sides are ready to rebuild transatlantic relations after four turbulent years under Donald Trump.

But last month Andreas Schwab, the German MEP who will help guide DMA legislation through the European parliament, said American technology companies were “the biggest problems”.

“Let’s look first at the biggest problems, at the biggest bottlenecks. We talk online – one, two, three, four, five – and maybe six with you [China’s] Alibaba, ”he said.

The US administration has been pressured to be tougher against EU plans to regulate Big Tech. Co-chairs of the digital trade caucus in the United States have recently warned about EU legislation that has the potential to “disproportionate damage American technology companies. “

However, despite the rhetoric that accused the EU of targeting American companies unfairly, the US government has singled out harsh critics of Big Tech in crucial positions of power. Just last week, Lina Khan, a vocal supporter of the break-up of U.S. companies, was named chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

In addition, the US House of Representatives has presented five drafts that in some parts are even stricter than the Brussels draft law. Observers note that both the United States and the EU face a similar challenge to tame the companies they have become. ”too big to care for».

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