EU and U.S. could work together to reign in big tech

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What you need to know

  • The EU and U.S. might be considering teaming up against Big Tech.
  • That's according to a new report ahead of a U.S.-EU summit later this month.
  • A draft memo points to more cooperation that will be proposed at the U.S.-EU Trade & Technology Council.

A new report says the EU and the U.S. may look to work together more closely to reign in the power of big tech companies like Apple.

From Reuters

The United States and European Union plan to take a more unified approach to limit the growing market power of Big Tech companies, according to a draft memo seen by Reuters. The move will be among announcements on tech, climate, trade and supply chains likely to be made at a U.S.-EU Trade & Technology Council meeting on Sept. 29 in Pittsburgh. With the U.S. and Europe trying to restrain the growing power of American tech giants such as Alphabet's Google (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O), Apple (AAPL.O) and Inc (AMZN.O), such cooperation has become critically important for regulators on both sides of the Atlantic - and would make it harder for the U.S. tech industry to fight new rules.

According to the report, a draft memo proposes a "more unified" approach between the two powers that will be proposed at the U.S.-EU Trade & Technology Council meeting on Sept. 29.

The 29th will be the first meeting of the council, and EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager will be in attendance.

The memo reportedly states "We have identified common issues of concern around gatekeeper power by major platforms and the responsibility of online intermediaries... This includes in particular the responsibility of online intermediaries to safeguard democratic processes from the impact of their business activities. Areas of common ground... include content moderation and fair competition."

Both blocks are trying to do more to tackle the growing power of technology companies especially when it comes to antitrust issues like Apple's App Store and Apple Pay. The president of one Washington think tank told Reuters that there was a risk the EU would "press the United States to harmonize its regulations with the EU by taking a precautionary approach", a move Robert Atkinson said would "skewer America's leading tech companies."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9