As the brawling saga between Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook for a dominant market position in Europe continues, the need for a digital watchdog has never been more important.
Last week, plans for a EU-wide body did not win backing and have been axed, a Reuters report said. But new plans to unify Europe’s digital market are currently underway and due to be announced next month as the concerns mount over major U.S. tech companies.
In a leaked document from the office of EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger, it is noted that a central European regulator can help tame some of the major players in Europe’s online marketplace. The document says that a digital regulator should be, “a central EU-wide body with the power to monitor platforms’ use of data, and to resolve disputes between the operators and businesses they serve.”
EU officials, however, said the idea did not gain enough support within the EU executive body and an updated version of the European Commission’s approach to level playing field for digital networks makes no mention of rolling out a new EU regulator.
The Commission’s decision last week to move ahead in Google’s antitrust case resulted from official complaints by 19 companies in Europe and the U.S. After more than five years of intense scrutiny by the European Union, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager reached a decision in agreement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. This is not the first time European regulators have chased American tech giants. A decade ago, Microsoft racked up a total of $3.4 billion in fines over antitrust issues.