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US Security Council Urges EU To Stop Singling Out American Tech Firms

US Security Council Urges EU To Stop Singling Out American Tech Firms

June 15, 2021 at 09:19PM
by PYMNTS

The U.S. National Security Council (NSC) told the European Union to stop using the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to target American technology giants, the Financial Times reported, citing sources. 

“We are particularly concerned about recent comments by the European Parliament rapporteur for the Digital Markets Act, Andreas Schwab, who suggested that the DMA should unquestionably target only the five biggest U.S. firms,” according to a June 9 email seen by FT.

The NSC email was sent to the EU’s delegation in the U.S. capital, something that is done on a regular basis between Washington and Brussels, sources told the outlet.

The DMA is the first big change to EU’s technology laws in 20 years, FT reported. The draft legislation intends to reel in big technology platforms and reduce their power in the sector.

“Comments and approaches such as this make regulatory cooperation between the U.S. and Europe extremely difficult, and send a message that the [European] Commission is not interested in engaging with the United States in good faith to address these common challenges in a way that serves our shared interests,” according to the email seen by FT.

The NCS wrote that “protectionist measures” could stifle innovation and “disadvantage European citizens.” Further, the policies will “hinder our ability to work together to harmonize our regulatory systems,” according to the email.

An NSC official told FT that the “excerpts from the email” reviewed by the news outlet were “cherry-picked” and not a true representation of the communication. The official also said that the spirit of the exchange was to find common ground between Washington and Brussels and to work in partnership on digital policies.

The communication was sent ahead of the Monday (June 14) Brussels summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). At the summit, Washington and Brussels agreed to co-create a trade and technology council, according to the news outlet. The proposed joint council will collaborate on setting uniform standards for new technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI). It also will address antitrust policies and evaluate tech supply chains.  

“We think there is a lot of room to cooperate with Europe on a range [of] digital, data and technology regulation issues, and look forward to constructive dialogue. We also think it is important that any digital, data or technology regulation treat individuals and companies fairly and based on objective standards,” an NSC spokesperson told FT.

Draft legislation stemming from Europe’s Digital Services Act (DSA) aims to broaden the power EU regulators can tap in order to curb Big Tech. The DSA and the DMA fall under the Digital Services Act Package, which intends to hand down limitations on how Big Tech companies conduct business.