Vestager hearing: Break up of Big Tech possible, less intrusion preferred

08 October 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

The European Commission (EC) can split large technology companies but seeks the path of a fine balance between enforcing competition law and protecting business opportunities which digital giants provide European businesses with, competition chief Margrethe Vestager said during confirmation hearings related to her new appointment before the European Parliament (EP) today (8 October).

Dutch member of Parliament Paul Tang asked Vestager whether there was an option “on the table” of breaking up large companies such as Facebook and Google for harming competition in Europe, while reminding the Danish politician that the EP has recommended such a split several times.

“Well, this is a tool that is available. It can be done,” Vestager said in response.

“The thing is I have an obligation to use the least intrusive tool in order to restore fair competition,” she said, adding that since it is “quite a thing” to break up a company, she is also obliged to try using other tools to solve competition issues.

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