The EU is Right: We Need Greater Transatlantic Cooperation to Regulate Big Tech

Big Tech is undoubtedly in the sights of global regulators. Antitrust enforcement actions are underway and new digital regulations are being proposed in Australia, the UK, the European Union, and the United States. All these actions, however, are taking place independently from one another, while the tech giants seamlessly operate globally and continue to reap hundreds of billions in profits and see their stock valuations soar into the trillions.

The challenges posed by Big Tech in the modern digital economy are global. The decimation of the business model of the journalism industry by the tech giants is just as present in Europe as it is in the United States. We need a coordinated international response to this global problem akin to the international mobilization to combat climate change or other transnational challenges. We are encouraged by the report from the Financial Times over the weekend on a draft memorandum from the EU to the incoming Biden administration that proposes “the EU and US join forces to shape the digital regulatory environment, including by adopting common approaches to antitrust enforcement and data protection.” 

Google and Facebook have done more than simply capitalize on the disruptive force of the internet, they have exploited their market dominance at the expense of competitors, especially news outlets. Multiple investigations from government bodies across the globe have uncovered actions by these tech giants that have excluded competitors, further entrenched their dominance, and reduced revenue for news outlets. In 2021, we need to move from the investigation phase to the remedy phase and that can only happen with greater international cooperation. 

The following is a statement from Laura Bassett, former Senior Politics Reporter for HuffPost who was laid off in January 2019, and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project:

The tech giants have decimated journalism in America and around the world. We are encouraged that the EU is proposing a more collaborative approach with the United States on antitrust enforcement and regulation of Big Tech because we need more international cooperation to deliver real solutions and restore fair competition in the digital economy before it’s too late to save journalism.