The EU’s “Hit List”

Silicon Valley Back in the Spotlight Overseas

Last week, a House of Representatives subcommittee announced tech giants Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL), and Amazon (AMZN) are getting too big and squeezing out competitors. This week, regulators from the European Union are also aiming to rein in big tech’s power. On Monday, the EU reported it’s working on a “hit list” that will target up to 20 major tech companies. The list could include Facebook, Google, and Apple.

Regulators plan to look carefully at businesses that dominate a big portion of market share and have many users. They’ll also take a look at companies whose platforms are so big that competitors have to use them in order to operate their businesses. These criteria, among others, make it likely the effort to monitor companies will focus mainly on American ones. “Big platforms are invasive, they pay little tax and they destroy competition,” said one person close to the EU talks.

Beyond the “Cost of Doing Business”

The EU promises its new regulations will include more than just fines. This pledge follows recent complaints that Europe’s existing regulatory structure hasn’t been effective in encouraging competition or controlling American tech giants.

Typically, when the EU fines companies for antitrust infractions, big tech companies pay up and move on. Tech companies see those fines as the “cost of doing business,” and the EU argues they’ve grown too big to care about financial penalties. This time, however, regulators could attempt to break up the greatest offenders. At a minimum, the EU could require companies to share data with competitors.

Meanwhile, the EU is working on a new Digital Services Act to establish new rules for how platforms operate on the internet in Europe. This is the first time in 20 years the EU has worked on new rules for the internet.

Google Faces Challenges Back Home

Stateside, Google specifically is facing looming charges for alleged antitrust violations that could force the company to pare off Google Chrome and divide up its advertising business. Competitors have accused Google of taking advantage of user’s web histories on the Chrome browser to target them with advertisements. Last Friday, people close to the Department of Justice said charges against Google could be coming soon. If prosecutors don’t ask Google to sell Chrome, they may restrict how Google can use Chrome data in advertising and other products. Chrome is used by a majority of desktop computers—almost 60% according to some estimates.

Separately but related, the Justice Department could charge Google as soon as this week with violations of competition in search. If the DOJ decides to move forward, the case could be the biggest one against an American tech company in decades. Regardless, Big Tech companies like Google and others are facing increasingly heated tension on both sides of the pond.

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

ABOUT SoFi SoFi helps people achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions. Our products for borrowing, saving, spending, investing, and protecting give our more than one million members fast access to tools to get their money right. SoFi membership comes with the key essentials for getting ahead, including career advisors and connection to a thriving community of like-minded, ambitious people. For more information, visit Want an easy and convenient way to manage your financial life? Get the SoFi app. For iOS and Android.

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender