EU: Ahead of the US But Maybe Too Late Again

August 30, 2022

When making up for decades of inaction, just create more bureaucracy. That seems to be the approach behind the move revealed in Reuters‘ brief article, “EU Mulls New Unit with Antitrust Veterans to Enforce Tech Rules—Sources.” The European Commission seems to think it might be difficult to force tech giants to comply with the recently passed Digital Markets Act (DMA). Now where would they get that idea? The write-up tells us:

“The landmark rules, agreed in March, will go into force next year. They will bar the companies from setting their own products as preferences, forcing app developers to use their payment systems, and leveraging users’ data to push competing services. The new directorate at the Commission’s powerful antitrust arm may be headed by Alberto Bacchiega, director of information, communication and media, in charge of antitrust and merger cases involving the tech, media and consumer electronics industries, one of the people [familiar with the matter] said. Bacchiega could also be assisted by Thomas Kramler, head of the unit dealing with antitrust cases in e-commerce and data economy, and currently spearheading investigations into Apple and Amazon, the person said. Both officials are already liasing with those at the Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology which will jointly enforce the DMA, a third person said.”

Conveniently, both Bacchiega and Kramler were away on vacation and could not be reached for comment. A spokesperson stated the Commission is shuffling employees, assigning about 80 staff members to enforce the DMA. We wonder whether that is enough to counter Big Tech’s corporate resources, even with a pair of seasoned antitrust veterans at the helm.

Cynthia Murrell, August 29, 2022


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