EU to probe popular US sites over data use and search

The European Commission is set to widen its front against US tech companies just two weeks after the launch of its landmark competition case against Google by initiating a separate probe into a wider range of online platforms. The move marks a first step towards tighter European Union regulation of the Internet and comes with the European Commission under pressure from France and Germany to take a tougher line on tech groups such as Amazon and Google.

In a draft plan for a “digital single market” encompassing everything from online shopping to telecoms regulation, the commission said it would probe how online platforms list search results and how they use customer data. The plan could also bring in stricter rules for video-on-demand services such as Netflix and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Skype that have become big rivals to traditional European media and telecoms companies. Companies such as Airbnb and Uber are also likely to be roped into any investigation into platforms, which will aim to determine whether they are abusing their market power in the so-called “sharing economy”.


EU to probe popular US sites over data use and search Silicon Valley braced for expected Brussels scrutiny (more)