EU Antitrust Boss Will Meet With US Big Tech Leaders

The private meetings come after a year of tough anti-trust measures as the European Union cracks down on Big Tech dealings.

Shane Snider , Senior Writer, InformationWeek

January 8, 2024

2 Min Read
EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager gives a press briefing on an antitrust decision on Qualcomm in this file photo from 2019.
EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager gives a press briefing on an antitrust decision on Qualcomm in this file photo from 2019.ALEXANDROS MICHAILIDIS via Alamy Stock

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s antitrust chief, will travel this week to the United States to meet with leaders at Apple, Google parent Alphabet, Broadcom, and OpenAI, her office said on Friday.

Vestager will sit down with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Broadcom CEO Hock Tan, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, and OpenAI CTO Mira Murati in meetings on Thursday and Friday taking place in San Francisco and Palo Alto, California. Vestager’s office said the meetings will focus on European digital regulation and competition policy.

Apple in late 2023 offered to allow competition to access its mobile wallet payments systems to placate an EU investigation and avoid a fine after the EU charged that the company was making it more difficult to offer competing services on Apple devices.

The meetings come just a month after US lawmakers urged the Biden administration to push back on the EU’s Digital Markets Act aimed at US “gatekeeper” service providers, including Alphabet, Amazon Apple, Meta, and Microsoft. The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of 22 members of the US House of Representatives.

In a statement, Apple voiced concerns about DMA’s potential impact on its services’ privacy and security. “Our focus will be on how we mitigate these impacts and continue to deliver the very best products and services to our European customers,” the company said.

Related:EU’s Digital Services Act Goes Live to Police Big Tech Apps

Tech companies could see huge operational cost hikes as the regulations go into effect, according to a study from the Center for Strategic & International Studies, which found new compliance and operations costs for US digital services providers could reach up to $50 billion annually, or up to 17% of their EU revenues. The new rules go into effect in March 2024.

Vestager was Denmark’s minister for economic affairs a leader of the Social Liberal Party from 2011 to 2014, when she took as EU’s commissioner for competition. She returned to the role last month after a failed run to become the head of the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank.

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About the Author(s)

Shane Snider

Senior Writer, InformationWeek, InformationWeek

Shane Snider is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of industry experience. He started his career as a general assignment reporter and has covered government, business, education, technology and much more. He was a reporter for the Triangle Business Journal, Raleigh News and Observer and most recently a tech reporter for CRN. He was also a top wedding photographer for many years, traveling across the country and around the world. He lives in Raleigh with his wife and two children.

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