EU unveils plan to rein in U.S. tech giants

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 19, 2020 - Duration: 01:28s

EU unveils plan to rein in U.S. tech giants

The European Commission plans to create a single European market for data, hoping that pooling the region's deep industrial expertise could help build technology powerhouses to catch up with Silicon Valley and state-backed Chinese heavyweights.

Adam Reed reports

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EU unveils plan to rein in U.S. tech giants

The EU has set out draft plans to help local tech champions and rein in the power of big U.S. tech firms over data.

New proposals unveiled Wednesday could stop firms limiting access to data they hold, or gaining disproportionate benefit from it.

Having lagged the first wave of digital innovation, Brussels also now wants to give European firms a helping hand.

Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said Wednesday that Europe could push itself to forefront tech innovation: (SOUNDBITE) INTERNAL MARKET COMMISSIONER THIERRY BRETON, SAYING (English): "The battle for industrial data starts now and Europe will be the main battlefield." Alongside a single European data market, the Commission plans to create smaller data markets centered on key industries.

The aim is to capitalize on data held by companies like Germany's Siemens and France's Alstom.

Brussels' plan comes alongside moves by some EU countries to impose digital taxes on major U.S. tech companies, in the face of fierce opposition from Washington.

Wednesday's proposals are wide ranging, including a goal for data centers to be climate neutral by 2030.

The Commission also called for a debate on the use of facial recognition in public spaces.

A final draft of the proposals is expected by the end of the year.

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