The European Union’s top competition cop States her preliminary Evaluation into Amazon’s Information practices is in”quite Sophisticated” Phases.
Margrethe Vestager – that has emerged as the world’s roughest Big Tech regulator – is rushing against the clock to determine whether to deliver a formal antitrust case against the e-commerce giant before her term as commissioner ends in October. Her staff is probing whether Amazon uses the data it collects from companies that sell products on its own platform to inform its product sales and undercut its rivals. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos possesses The Washington Post.)
“Since it is not given that I can last to your commissioner for competition, I want to take more decisive measures before I must go,” Vestager told a small group of colleagues at South by Southwest. “We are pushing it for obvious reasons.”
As Europe attempts to crack down on Big Tech, Vestager is particularly concentrated on the competition problems that arise when companies are equally marketplaces that host other vendors — and merchants competing to peddle their own products. Vestager would like to be sure that the largest players that drive the digital economy – a la Amazon – aren’t abusing their market dominance and damaging consumers as they use data from competitors to inform their own business decisions.
A formal case against Amazon might set the tone for how policymakers across the world – even in the US – may treat the issue.
It extends far past one e-commerce giant, Vestager said. “Amazon is not the only one,” she explained.” Google also has this nature since they also are being the navigation tool to discover a great deal of companies, companies that they compete with.”
Vestager said Google Shopping is just another example of her concerns. In 2017, she fined Google for directing customers to its service that lets people compare products from all over the Web over rival online buying services.
That $2.7 billion nice and others have built Vestager’s reputation as Silicon Valley’s top nemesis throughout the pond. And at a time when many American politicians are just talking about antitrust and reining in Substantial Tech, Vestager has built a record on taking action. She fined the search engine that a record-setting $5 billion for forcing Android cellphone manufacturers to pre-install the Google search program and Chromeapp on the phones.
Since 2020 Democratic presidential candidates steered the conversation at South by Southwest toward how they would govern the tech business, there was possibly no more appropriate year for Vestager to attend the festival.
But her approach differs from that of presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who gave an impassioned pitch in the festival to get her plan to break up Substantial Tech.
When asked regarding Warren’s plan, Vestager stated Europe could also try to split up the companies through legislation. “It would for us become an issue of this very, very, very last resort,” she explained.
Warren, D-Mass., and Vestager are concerned about precisely the exact same contest issue, though. In our interview,” Warren said she wished to break up Amazon so it couldn’t use the data that it collects from sellers to compete together.
“It’s like in baseball. You can be the umpire; that is like the platform,” Warren explained. “Or you’ll be able to own the team; that is one of the businesses. However, you don’t get to be the umpire and possess the group in the league.”
Since Vestager looks long-term at the work she wishes to perform to make sure European governments are ready to handle competition issues involving technologies, she informs me she’s closely watching the hearings that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is holding on how the agency should address digital challenges.
“I really enjoy this approach, they get a stock carrying,” she explained. “We are interested as coworkers and colleagues from my services will come over and have a hearing ear.”