Such a move could only ever happen in an “extreme case,” she says.
Europe’s antitrust chief believes that breaking up tech giants such as Google and Facebook will not be necessary.
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she would propose new powers for enforcers to tackle market failures in digital markets and to stop new ones from emerging.
However, Vestager told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagzeitung newspaper that she did not think breaking up the companies would be needed.
Up until now we haven’t had any cases that could lead to such a move.
“It will never come to that,” she told the newspaper in an interview. “Up until now we haven’t had any cases that could lead to such a move.”
She did admit, however, that the European Union could use that step in an extreme case.
Vestager is due to announce new draft rules for the digital sector on December 2nd and will then have to reconcile her proposal with those from member countries and the European Parliament.
Europe’s Internal Market Commissioner may disagree
EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has said the proposed rules include forcing tech giants to break up. They could also be forced or sell some of their European operations. This could be done if their market dominance is deemed to threaten the interests of customers and smaller rivals.
In September, Breton announced a major overhaul of the EU’s Digital Services Act, which he claims leaves open the door to breaking up Big Tech.
Under certain conditions we may also have the power to impose structural separation
“There is a feeling from end users of these platforms that they are too big to care,” he said. “Under certain conditions we may also have the power to impose structural separation,” he warned.
Margarete Vestager has for a long time advocated a more conciliatory approach to Big Tech. In an interview last year, she claimed that more limited means could accomplish what was needed without splitting up companies.
“When it comes to the very far reaching proposal to split up companies, for us, from a European perspective, that would be a measure of last resort,” she said at the time.