By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A draft of rules targeting Alphabet-owned Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple should be strengthened to allow regulators to scrutinize their acquisitions of emerging rivals, Germany, France and the Netherlands said on Thursday.
The joint statement by the German Minister of Economy, Peter Altmaier, his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire, the French Secretary of State Cedric O and the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Mona Keijzer, came out at a time when countries and legislators of the Union Europe are preparing to discuss the rules proposed by the European Commission.
Tech giants have faced some criticism for so-called “killer takeovers,” in which they buy up fledgling rivals with the aim of shutting them down.
The ministers indicated that regulators should use the proposed Digital Markets Law to address this problem.
“First, establish clear and legally certain thresholds for acquisitions by relatively low-turnover but high-value controllers,” they said.
“Second, adapt the substantive test to effectively address potentially predatory acquisition cases,” he added.
The proposed rules, they said, should allow scope for EU countries to deal with internet controllers and anti-competitive behavior.
The draft rules could come into force next year, once the Commission, EU countries and EU legislators have drawn up a common position.
(Additional reporting by Sarah White and Matthieu Protard in Paris; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)