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France and the Netherlands call for tough EU powers to curb Big Tech

France and the Netherlands have proposed stricter EU rules to oversee large technology firms, such as Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon. In a joint document, seen by CNBC and due to be sent to the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, the two countries suggested that an EU authority should be able to control the market position of these large tech platforms.

“Our common ambition is to design a framework that will be efficient enough to address the economic footprint of such actors on the European economy and to be able to ‘break them open,’” Cédric O, the secretary of state for digital transition in France, said in a statement. “Access to data, to services, interoperability … these are efficient tools that we should be able to use, with a tailor-made approach, in order to tackle market foreclosure and ensure freedom of choice for consumers,” he added.

The EU, arguably at the forefront of regulation in this space, has intensified talks regarding Big Tech and the competitive landscape over the last 12 months. In addition to pursuing anti-trust investigations on some of the largest firms, the Commission is also working on data protection rules.

The Dutch and French proposal aims to support the Commission in the development of this work. Any new proposal would have to be approved by the 27 EU governments and by the European Parliament. In the eyes of the French and the Dutch governments, the EU should stop these firms favoring their own services to the detriment of other businesses; and impose an obligation to share specific data.

Though the legislative process is not over, the European Commission has confirmed it will not target specific companies with its work.

France and the Netherlands call for tough EU powers to curb Big Tech, CNBC, Oct 15

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