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EU: Changes to antitrust enforcement on Big Tech urged bu report

 |  April 4, 2019

According to a report from the Financial Times, Google, Amazon, Facebook and other major technology companies could face fresh antitrust challenges after an EU report recommended sweeping changes to how the bloc enforces its competition rules.

The report, published on Thursday, April 4, could also lead to more companies being deemed “dominant” and therefore subject to stricter rules about the services they provide and the prices they charge.

It was commissioned by EU competition enforcer Margrethe Vestager and written by three academics known as “special advisers.”

The 133-page report, titled “Competition policy for the digital era,” stated, “There is a reasonable concern that dominant digital firms have strong incentives to engage in anti-competitive behaviour . . . They require vigorous competition policy enforcement and justify adjustments to the way competition law is applied.”

The academics—Heike Schweitzer, professor of law at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Jacques Crémer, professor of economics at the Toulouse School of Economics, and Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, assistant professor of data science at Imperial College London— said Europe’s antitrust law framework is “sound and sufficiently flexible,” but recommended applying the rules differently in the future in order to act more quickly in fast-moving markets.

Ms Vestager said the report was “full of important insights into the way markets are changing,  and full of valuable ideas on how competition policy can respond.” She said it will take time “to discuss and debate [the suggestions] before conclusions are reached.”

Full Content: Financial Times

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