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France: Digital Minister eyes complexities of antitrust in high-tech

 |  October 28, 2014

France’s Digital Minister Axelle Lemaire spoke at a global technology conference this week to discuss how the EU plans to update its rules for global technology conglomerates, and among those updates necessary, Lemaire said, is antitrust revisions.

The Minister said Tuesday that current antitrust laws cannot easily apply to technology giants like Google. “They are not monopolies in the sense that their behavior doesn’t result in an increase in prices,” she said at the conference held with Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith.

She noted that France is working with Germany and other jurisdictions to explore how to reign in the power of what the French call “les GAFAs” – the Googles, Apples, Facebooks and Amazons of the world.

Reports earlier this month emerged that Lemaire met with officials in Berlin to discuss possible updates to EU competition laws in efforts to restore a “level playing field,” according to an unnamed source.

On Tuesday, however, Lemaire declined to elaborate exactly how regulators would achieve this.

The event was launched by WSJD Live.

Full content: Wall Street Journal

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