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EU should focus on top 5 tech companies, says leading MEP


The EU lawmaker who will direct the EU’s leading tech regulations through the European Parliament has said the focus should be on the five largest US technology companies.

Andreas Schwab, a member of the European Parliament and a longtime critic of Google, spoke after both France and Germany called on the European Union to be tougher in dealing with big tech companies. He said Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft were the “biggest problems” for EU competition policy.

Let’s focus first on the biggest problems, on the biggest bottlenecks. Let’s go down the line – one, two, three, four, five – and maybe six with Alibaba,” he told the Financial Times.

“But let’s not start with the number 7 to list the European gatekeeper just to please him [US president Joe] Biden.

The European Union defines “gatekeeper” companies as those that span multiple countries, have a significant impact on the market, and connect large numbers of users with large numbers of businesses.

His stance is likely to be seen as anti-American, at a time when the European Union is focused on rebuilding transatlantic relations.

Schwab is also part of the European People’s Party, a powerful political alliance whose membership includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

Brussels last December revealed its plan to tackle Big Tech’s market power. The new regulations set revenue and market share thresholds that would Select up to 20 companies as ‘gatekeepers’, including companies headquartered in the European Union, such as Booking.com.

But in a new report, due to be published on Monday, Schwab called higher thresholds of €100 billion in market value, rather than €65 billion in the original offerings, and €10 billion in revenue in the past three fiscal years, rather than in euros. 6.5 billion.

He also defined a gatekeeper as a company that provides “two or more core platform services,” meaning that platforms like Booking, which often provide one service, would not fall within the scope.

“Domain [Digital Markets Act] You should clearly target those companies that play the role of gatekeeper due to their size and influence on the internal market.

Separately, Schwab said large online platforms should be forced to be more transparent about how they make money from online advertising. He said the business model was a “great black hole,” adding that transparency was key to boosting competition on the continent.

Although his report is non-binding, it has been widely anticipated in Brussels as it is seen as setting the tone for months of difficult debates about the law on digital markets.

Last week France, Germany and the Netherlands Called to the European Commission To enact stricter rules against big tech companies to prevent them from acquiring small companies to kill competition.

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