EU: Antitrust specialists could be called upon to enforce digital laws

EU: Antitrust specialists could be called upon to enforce digital laws

by Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is considering creating a new directorate, which could head two senior antitrust officials, to enforce tough new rules aimed at limiting the powers of big tech companies, said two people familiar with the matter.

Such a move could reassure the EU’s competition watchdog’s ability to compel digital giants such as Alphabet’s subsidiary Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The new leadership of the Commission’s powerful antitrust body could be headed by Alberto Bacchiega, director of information, communication and media, in charge of antitrust and merger cases involving the technology, media and financial sectors. consumer electronics, according to one interviewee.

Alberto Bacchiega could also be assisted by Thomas Kramler, head of the unit responsible for antitrust in the areas of electronic commerce and the data economy, who is currently leading the investigations into Apple and Amazon.

The two officials are already in contact with those in the Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, who will jointly apply the DMA, a third person said.

On summer vacation, Alberto Bacchiega and Thomas Kramler could not be reached for comment.

The EU executive said it was organizing internally to be able to enforce the DMA effectively.

“It is estimated that the application of the DMA will require approximately 80 people who will be redeployed internally, if necessary,” said a spokeswoman.

“The internal organization will be based on the relevant expertise of all the DGs (Directorates-General) and services concerned, and will ensure an appropriate number of staff from the DGs and services concerned”, she added.

(Report Foo Yun Chee; French version Augustin Turpin, edited by Jean-Michel Bélot)

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