EU’s Breton warns Google CEO Pichai he plans curb excesses of a 'Wild West' intenet

European Union Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton talks to journalists during an online news conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. (Reuters)

Europe’s industry chief Thierry Breton has warned Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai that he plans to rein in US tech giants via a raft of new rules to curb the excesses of a “Wild West” internet.

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Breton issued the warning in a video-conference call with Pichai late on Thursday, according to a statement from the European Commision.



The comments came after a Google internal document outlined a 60-day strategy to counter the European Union’s push for tough new tech rules by getting US allies to push back against Breton.

Read more: Call for swift EU action against Google by group of 165 firms, industry bodies

The call was initiated by Google before the document was leaked.

Breton will announce new draft rules known as the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act together with European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on December 2.

The rules will set out a list of do’s and don’ts for gatekeepers -- online companies with market power -- forcing them to share data with rivals and regulators and not to promote their services and products unfairly.

“The Internet cannot remain a ‘Wild West’: we need clear and transparent rules, a predictable environment and balanced rights and obligations,” Breton told Pichai.

“Everything that is allowed offline should be authorized online; and everything that is forbidden offline should be banned online,” he said.

Breton told Pichai that he would increase the EU’s power to curb unfair behavior by gatekeeping platforms, so that the Internet does’t just benefit a handful of companies but also Europe’s small- and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs.

“Europe’s position is clear: everyone is welcome on our continent –- as long as they respect our rules,” he told Pichai.

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Last Update: Friday, 13 November 2020 KSA 15:21 - GMT 12:21
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