EU Industry chief: Tech groups services could face bans if they breach rules

European Commission

Tech firms’ services could be banned from the European market if they do not heed EU regulation, Europe’s industry chief Thierry Breton told German weekly Welt am Sonntag, as the European Commission finalises rules on internet companies.

Breton will announce new draft rules known as the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act together with European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on the 2nd of December.

The new draft rules come as critics of US tech giants, which include companies and industry bodies, question the EU’s rulings against Google, saying they have not curbed its allegedly anti-competitive behaviour. Some want EU enforcers to go further than just ordering companies to stop such practices.

The draft rules would allow the EU to ban companies or part of their services from the 27-country bloc as an extreme option. Until the draft rules are adopted EU antitrust and digital regulators do not currently have the power to impose such bans.

“Strict rules must be enforceable”, Breton told Welt am Sonntag.

“For this we need the appropriate arsenal of potential measures: Impose fines, exclude businesses or parts of the services from the Single Market, insist that they divide up if they would like to keep access to the Single Market. Or a mix of all of these.”

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He added that these sanctions would only apply to companies that don’t honour the EU’s principles, and that the toughest steps would only be used in exceptional circumstances.

In a sign of how much tech companies fear the new regulation, Google last month launched a 60-day strategy for US allies to push against the EU’s digital chief.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘EU Industry chief: Tech groups services could face bans if they breach rules‘ article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Yun Chee Foo. Editing by Jane Merriman.

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