EU Single Digital Market should not be about targeting large US businesses for political purposes – Hayes

Brian Hayes MEP today said that the EU should not make the Digital Single Market about targeting large US tech companies for political means. The Dublin MEP said that the priority should be to make communication and technology services work better for consumers.

“The European Commission will unveil the EU’s Digital Single Market strategy on May 6 which aims to propose reforms to all digital related services from online shopping to broadband provision.

“We need a Digital Single Market as it will break down barriers for the efficient delivery of e-services to all European consumers. But this should not be about the Commission going after large tech companies because of their dominance in the market.

“Recently the Commission opened formal investigations against Google for allegedly abusing its dominant position as an online search engine. I think there does need to be a full and frank investigation into allegations of market abuse since we need a level playing field for all search engine providers.

“However, I do not believe this investigation should dictate plans for the EU’s Digital Single Market. There has been a propensity from the Commission in recent months to go after some of the large US tech multinationals. While all anti-competitive practices should be investigated, there needs to be some balance. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple play an important role in the European economy and they should not be targeted for political purposes.

“The Digital Single Market should be about giving better access to consumers and businesses for digital goods and services. It is estimate that EU consumers could save €11.7 billion per year if they could choose from a full range of EU goods and services when shopping online.

“To make the Digital Single Market work, the EU needs to: 1. Quickly conclude ongoing negotiations on EU data protection rules; 2. Provide better support for tech entrepreneurs to drive new tech innovation in Europe; and 3. Improve access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services.”

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