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
12 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
12 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
12 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
12 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
12 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
12 months ago

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

Top Stories

appstore

Apple Removes 39,000 Games From China App Store

Thursday December 31, 2020 4:24 am PST by
Apple on Thursday removed nearly 39,000 apps from its Chinese App Store due to the apps lacking an official license from local regulators, reports Reuters. The report, which cites data from research firm Qimai, says that games affected by the cull included Ubisoft title Assassin's Creed Identity and NBA 2K20. According to Qimai, only 74 of the top 1,500 paid games on the China App Store...
Exposure Notifications W People and Text

Apple Releases iOS 12.5.1 With Exposure Notifications Bug Fix for Older iPhones

Monday January 11, 2021 10:18 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 12.5.1, an update that is available for older iPhones unable to install the iOS 14 update. The update features an Exposure Notifications bug fix. The iOS 12.5.1 update can be downloaded all on eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Apple in December released iOS 12.5 alongside iOS ...
iphone trade in 202010 FMT WHH

iPhone Upgrade Program Temporarily Unavailable at Apple Stores in England Due to Lockdown Restrictions

Thursday November 5, 2020 6:26 am PST by
Apple today informed customers that its iPhone Upgrade Program is temporarily unavailable in England due to new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions that have gone into effect across the country starting today until December 2. In the United Kingdom, the iPhone Upgrade Program requires visiting an Apple Store, but England's lockdown restrictions have forced these retail locations to operate on a...
tiktok logo

ByteDance Granted Seven-Day Extension of TikTok Sale

Thursday November 26, 2020 4:02 am PST by
TikTok owner ByteDance has been granted a seven-day extension on an order from the Trump Administration to sell the short-form video sharing platform (via Reuters). The administration had previously granted ByteDance a 15-day extension of the order issued in August, which was set to expire Friday. President Trump on August 14 directed ByteDance to divest the app within 90 days. According...
EU apple tax

EU to Appeal Against Apple's $15 Billion Tax Bill Ruling

Friday September 25, 2020 3:12 am PDT by
The European Commission on Friday said it would appeal a court ruling that overturned its demand that Apple pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in tax to the Irish government (via CNBC). "The Commission has decided to appeal before the European Court of Justice the General Court's judgment of July 2020 on the Apple State aid case in Ireland," Margrethe Vestager, the head of competition policy...
foxconn

Apple Supplier Foxconn to Build $270 Million Plant in Vietnam, Likely for MacBook and iPad

Monday January 18, 2021 7:32 am PST by
Apple supplier Foxconn has been granted a license to construct a new $270 million plant in Vietnam, likely to manufacture MacBooks and iPads (via Reuters). The new plant, to be developed by Fukang Technology, will be located in the northern Vietnamese province of Bac Giang. Upon completion, the location is projected to be able to produce eight million laptops and tablets annually....
japan FTC

Japan Preparing to Regulate Big Tech in Collaboration with U.S. and Europe

Monday October 19, 2020 7:45 am PDT by
Japan has followed the United States, Australia, and numerous countries around the world in preparing to heavily regulate big tech companies, including Apple, due to antitrust disputes and fears about market control (via Reuters). Japan is reportedly "laying the groundwork" to regulate big tech companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Kazuyuki Furuya, chairman of Japan's...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Purple

Apple in Talks to Pick Up Two Animated Films Produced by John Lasseter

Wednesday December 16, 2020 2:13 pm PST by
Apple is in talks to acquire the rights to two animated films from Skydance Animation, which is headed up by John Lasseter, reports Variety. Lasseter is the former chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar, but he departed the company in 2018 following allegations of sexual misconduct and has been at Skydance Animation since 2019. Prior to joining Skydance Animation,...
Apple TV Ray Light teal

Apple Picks Up 'Extrapolations' Series on Climate Change for Apple TV+

Wednesday December 9, 2020 2:16 pm PST by
"Extrapolations," an upcoming anthology series about climate change, is coming to Apple TV+, reports Variety. The series was created by Scott Z. Burns, who is writing, directing, and executive producing. The show will tell "intimate, unanticipated stories" about how changes to the planet will affect "love, faith, work, and family on a personal and human scale." The series will feature 10...
tiktok logo

Trump Administration Appeals Latest Court Order Blocking TikTok Ban

Tuesday December 29, 2020 3:03 am PST by
The Department of Justice this week formally appealed a judge's order that blocks restrictions on TikTok by the U.S. government, according to a new court filing, in a continuation of the Trump administration's campaign against the short-form video sharing platform (via CNN). Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols issued an order blocking the Department of Commerce's...