Top EU Antitrust Investigator Warns Against Break Up of Big Tech Companies

As the European Union increasingly targets big tech companies, top antitrust enforcer Margrethe Vestager has warned against the structural break up of big tech companies (via The Information).

European Commisssion

The comments were somewhat surprising, as Vestager has aggressively pursued antitrust investigations against the likes of Apple, Google, and Amazon in recent years. For example, it was Vestager who led the EU's appeal against a court ruling that overturned its demand that Apple pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in tax to the Irish government.

During a debate on the future of internet regulation within the EU, she cautioned that although it would be "doable" to force a breakup of big tech companies under current EU law, it could lead to a range of unintended consequences. Foremost among these, she said, are potentially lengthy court battles between European regulators and the tech companies themselves.

"I don't think it is something that should be introduced in this legislation and I think one should be very careful with that type of remedy because one should be very sure how it would actually work," Vestager said. "It would tie you up in court for a very very long time. I think it's important we try these routes first with the platforms."

Vestager is among the top European bureaucrats currently drafting the wide-reaching Digital Services Act. The legislation is set to bring a range of aggressive regulations on big tech companies, such as obligations to share data with competitors and give no preference to a company's own apps and services.

The comments have put Vestager at odds with many other senior European officials, including EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, who have strongly hinted at their desire to force a break up of big tech companies under certain circumstances.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

PickUrPoison Avatar
27 months ago

At the same time some of us are working toward a breakup of the EU…
Yeah, everyone is stronger if they go it alone. Screw everybody else ?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeanL Avatar
27 months ago

I would like to know how the EU. A conglomerate of European bullies, are going to Mandate that big companies break up. Considering most of them are from the USA. The EU, are a bunch of jokers.
Because you think that Apple, Google, etc would just leave the market? No they won’t. They’ll comply with local regulations like they always do.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
27 months ago
I can easily see consumers being worse off after regulators “fix” things. Not that there aren’t some abuses that need to be addressed.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macdos Avatar
27 months ago
At the same time some of us are working toward a breakup of the EU…
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
and 1989 others Avatar
27 months ago
I would like to know how the EU. A conglomerate of European bullies, are going to Mandate that big companies break up. Considering most of them are from the USA. The EU, are a bunch of jokers.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeanL Avatar
27 months ago

Of course they'd leave.
Like Apple has left China?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple logo cash feature

Apple Briefly Becomes World's First $3 Trillion Company

Monday January 3, 2022 10:44 am PST by
Apple briefly became the world's first $3 trillion company today based on market capitalization, which is the total value of all of the company's outstanding shares. The milestone came after Apple's stock price rose over 40% in the last year. The impressive feat, which Apple achieved when its stock price reached the $182.86 mark during intraday trading, came just over 16 months after Apple be...
arm logo blue bg

Nvidia Likely Pulling Out of Arm Acquisition After Failing to Win Regulatory Approval

Tuesday January 25, 2022 11:37 am PST by
Nvidia is no longer planning to acquire chip maker Arm after failing to win approval for the venture, reports Bloomberg. Nvidia will "quietly" abandon the purchase because it has made no progress in gaining support from regulators and is facing an FTC lawsuit blocking the deal. Nvidia in September 2020 announced plans to purchase Arm from SoftBank for $40 billion, but it was clear from the...
us subscription revenue 2021

Sensor Tower: iOS Users Spent $13.5 Billion on Top 100 Subscription Apps in 2021, Up 31% Year-on-Year

Friday February 25, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Consumer spending on the top 100 non-game subscription-based apps across mobile platforms grew 41% year-on-year to $18.3 billion in 2021, up from 13 billion in 2020, according to a new report from analytics firm Sensor Tower. According to the data, revenue from subscription apps purchased on the App Store and the Google Play Store represented around 14% of the $131.6 billion that consumers...
iOS App Store General Feature Desaturated

Apple Fined Another €5 Million Over Dating Apps as Dutch Regulators Say Apple Has 'Refused to Put Forward Any Serious Proposals'

Monday February 21, 2022 12:10 pm PST by
Dutch regulators have levied another fine of €5 million against Apple in a continued dispute over alternative payment systems for dating apps. Apple's total fines have now reached €25 million as regulators assess weekly fines up to a total of €50 million or until Apple satisfies the regulatory requirements. In a statement shared with TechCrunch, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM)...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic vs. Apple Takes a Twist As 35 US States and Department of Justice Weigh in to Back 'Fortnite' Maker

Friday January 28, 2022 4:27 am PST by
Apple is stifling competition with its monopoly on app distribution through the App Store, attorneys general for 35 states told a California appeals court on Thursday. The joint statement was submitted into the appeals process that is ongoing following the judge's decision in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit, with the attorneys general siding with the "Fortnite" video game maker on the issue,...
icloud private relay ios 15

EU Mobile Operators Want Apple's iCloud Private Relay Service to Be Outlawed Over Concerns of 'Digital Sovereignty'

Monday January 10, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Major EU mobile operators are reportedly looking for Apple's iCloud Private Relay service to be outlawed because it allegedly infringes upon EU "digital sovereignty," according to a report from The Telegraph. iCloud Private Relay was a feature announced with iOS 15 that encrypts data so that neither Apple nor a third-party can see users' browsing activity in Safari. With iCloud Private Rely...
play store google

Google Criticizes EU Regulators for Ignoring Apple in Bid to Get $5.1 Billion Antitrust Fine Annulled

Monday September 27, 2021 1:32 pm PDT by
Google today lambasted European Union regulators for ignoring Apple and the rivalry between Apple and Android in the antitrust accusations that have been levied against Google, reports Reuters. Apple was brought up as part of Google's attempt to get a massive 4.34 billion euro ($5.1 billion) fine annulled. The European Commission first levied the fine against Google in 2018 because Google...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...

Popular Stories

Cyber Monday Deals Feature 2022

Best Cyber Monday Apple Deals Still Available for AirPods, Apple TV, iPad, and More

Monday November 28, 2022 5:24 am PST by
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping rush is drawing to a close, but there are still some good deals to be had out there. For Apple products, many of the deals you've seen since last week are still available, though some have expired. So for anyone who missed out on Black Friday deals, there's still an opportunity to get some of the year's best prices on many Apple devices. Note: ...
iPhone 14 Pro Rear Camera

iPhone 15 to Use 'State-of-the-Art' Image Sensor From Sony for Better Low-Light Performance

Monday November 28, 2022 11:00 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 models will be equipped with Sony's newest "state of the art" image sensors, according to a report from Nikkei. Compared to standard sensors, Sony's image sensor doubles the saturation signal in each pixel, allowing it to capture more light to cut down on underexposure and overexposure. Nikkei says that it is able to better photograph a person's face even with...
Apple Watch Ultra Oceanic Plus App

Apple Announces Oceanic+ App Now Available for Apple Watch Ultra

Monday November 28, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today announced that the Oceanic+ app is available for the Apple Watch Ultra starting today. Designed by Huish Outdoors in collaboration with Apple, the app serves as a dive computer for recreational scuba diving at depths up to 40 meters/130 feet. Apple already offers a basic Depth app on the Apple Watch Ultra for viewing your current depth, maximum depth reached, water temperature,...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
rapid security response

Apple Releases Another Rapid Security Response Update for iOS 16.2 Beta Users

Monday November 28, 2022 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released a Rapid Security Response update that is available for those running the iOS 16.2 beta, marking the launch of the second RSR update since the feature was released in iOS 16. The Rapid Security Response Update is designed to provide iOS 16.2 beta users with bug fixes without the need to install a full update. The initial RSR release for iOS 16.2 beta users was a test with ...
twitter elon musk

Elon Musk Claims Apple Has 'Mostly Stopped' Offering Ads on Twitter and Is Making Moderation Demands

Monday November 28, 2022 10:42 am PST by
Apple has cut back on its Twitter advertising, according to Twitter CEO Elon Musk. In a tweet, Musk said that Apple has "mostly stopped" its Twitter ads, asking if Apple hates "free speech." Musk went on to publish a poll asking if Apple should "publish all censorship actions" taken that impact customers and he began retweeting content from companies that Apple has had moderation discussions ...
iphone 11 tesla cybertruck close up

Elon Musk Pledges to Build iPhone Rival If Apple Ousts Twitter

Tuesday November 29, 2022 2:48 am PST by
Elon Musk has pledged to offer an "alternative phone" if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores, adding to long-standing rumors about an iPhone rival from Tesla. Modified iPhone 11 Pro in the style of the Tesla Cybertruck, by Caviar. Musk's remark came after being asked about the potential scenario of Twitter being removed from app stores, which could conceivably happen if the...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts through the weekend as we head into Cyber Monday. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note:...