EU antitrust chief: We're not biased against US companies

EU antitrust chief: We're not biased against US companies
© Getty Images

Europe’s top antitrust regulator forcefully pushed back Thursday night against claims that its pursuit of companies including Google and Amazon was motivated by anti-American bias.

“As I said, the nationality of a company is a nonrelevant fact,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said during a speech in New York. “Nonetheless, some claim that when our casework involves giants like Apple or Google, [it] is an evidence of bias. But this is a fallacy.”

ADVERTISEMENT

She said that the EU’s focus was instead the “result of fair-handed application of the law.”

Vestager argued that while U.S. companies were “often involved” in investigations of the tech space, it was not unlike Japanese car giants being involved in cases related to the auto business.

“Statistics on merger interventions also confirms that there is no geographical bias,” she said. “And these are the facts.”

Despite tensions between U.S. industry and European governments, she hailed the relationship between regulators on both sides of the Atlantic as essential.

“We need this cooperation,” she said.

Vestager has drawn some criticism for her focus on American tech companies operating in Europe.

European Union antitrust regulators are currently embroiled in a fight with Google over allegations that the search service privileges its own shopping comparison service over competitors. It has also examined Amazon’s e-books operation and recently launched a probe into Qualcomm.