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US Gov Sees Trade Secret Risk In EU Draft Tech Rules

 |  November 10, 2021

New draft EU rules requiring US tech giants to share information with rivals could put companies’ intellectual property and trade secrets at risk, the United States government warned in a document seen by Reuters.

The paper said requiring gatekeepers, companies that control data and access to their platforms – to change their business practices and the design of their software may have implications for security and consumer protection.

The document, circulated to EU countries, the European Commission and involved companies, underlines US concerns that the rules will come at the expense of US companies.

Frustrated by the slow pace of investigations, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager has proposed two sets of rules to rein in Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook.

Related: Will the Digital Markets Act Kill Innovation in Europe?

The Digital Markets Act sets out a list of dos and don’ts that takes direct aim at each company’s core business model, reinforced by fines of up to 10% of global turnover.

The Digital Services Act forces the tech giants to do more to tackle illegal content on their platforms, with fines of up to 6% of global turnover for non-compliance.

“DMA would require gatekeepers under certain circumstances to provide competitors with information that may be protected by intellectual property and trade secret law,” the document said. “However, the DMA does not include specific language relevant to the protection of intellectual property, including trade secrets.”

“As a result, there is a concern that the DMA may override existing protections for intellectual property rights, including protection for trade secrets, in EU law under certain circumstances.”

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