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EU Antitrust Chief Meets With Big Tech CEOs Over Regulation and Competition Compliance

flags at European Parliament

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s (EU) antitrust chief, recently met with the chief executives of tech giants AppleAlphabet and Qualcomm

The purpose of these meetings was to discuss regulation and compliance with competition policies, particularly in the European digital market, Reuters reported Friday (Jan. 12). 

Vestager took to social media platform X to share insights into her discussions with each CEO, according to the report. 

With Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, they delved into various topics, including the company’s responsibility to allow the distribution of its apps beyond its proprietary App Store, the report said. They also touched on ongoing competition cases, such as the one involving Apple Music, the company’s music streaming service. 

During her meeting with Sundar Pichai, the head of Alphabet and Google, Vestager focused on the design of choice screens and self-preferencing in relation to the Digital Markets Act (DMA), per the report. They also addressed the Google AdTech antitrust case. 

The DMA stipulates that companies with over 45 million monthly active users and a market capitalization of 75 billion euros (about $82 billion) must be considered gatekeepers, according to the report. As gatekeepers, these companies are required to ensure interoperability with competitors and allow users to choose which apps to pre-install on their devices. 

While the details of Vestager’s discussion with Cristiano Amon, the head of Qualcomm, were not disclosed, she emphasized the significance of chips in the EU’s digital transition and economic security, the report said. Vestager recognized that chips are integral to more than just the digital transition and underscored the importance of meeting with Amon. 

It was reported on Jan. 5 that Vestager would meet with several American Big Tech CEOs to discuss competition policy and digital regulation in the EU. Vestager has yet to meet with the executives of NvidiaBroadcom and OpenAI.

In another recent development, Vestager spoke with the Financial Times (FT) in late December to defend the EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act, which has faced criticism, and argue that the proposed act will provide “legal certainty” for tech startups building AI technology

Vestager told the FT that the AI Act will not hinder innovation and research but rather enhance them by providing a clear framework.