13 November 2020
Google CEO Sundar Pichai
© Reuters / Joseba Etxaburu
The Internet should
benefit not only US tech giants, but also smaller European
businesses, and new rules being introduced by the European Union
will ensure that, a top EU official has told
Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
The EU's Internal Market
Thierry Breton and Pichai held
a video conference late on Thursday after the leak of an internal
document from Google, which detailed a 60-day strategy to oppose the
bloc's fresh Internet regulations together with other US companies.
"The Internet cannot
remain a 'Wild West': we need clear and transparent rules, a
predictable environment and balanced rights and obligations,"
Breton told the Alphabet CEO, according to a statement seen by
Everything that is
allowed offline should be authorized online; and everything that is
forbidden offline should be banned online.
The new rules would increase the EU's abilities to counter unfair
behavior by so-called 'gatekeepers' or online companies with vast
like Google and other tech giants,
mostly from the US.
They'll be forced to
share data with rivals and regulators, as well as act more
scrupulously in promoting their services and products.
Digital Services Act and the
Digital Markets Act,
due to be announced on December 02, aim to ensure that the internet
won't benefit just a handful of companies, but also medium and small
European businesses, Breton pointed out.
"Europe's position is
clear: everyone is welcome on our continent - as long as they
respect our rules," he said.
Sources familiar with the
call told Reuters that Breton showed the leaked paper to Pichai,
urging him against using "old century tactics" and trying to pit
various units in the European Commission against each other.
The Alphabet CEO reportedly apologized for the document, but
insisted that he had not seen it or signed off on it.
According to another
source, Pichai told Breton that he would engage directly with the
commissioner if he sees language and policy in the rules that
specifically target Google, which is an Alphabet subsidiary.
Also on rt.com leading tech companies call for tougher antitrust
action against Google
Google later described the conversation as frank, but open.
A company spokesperson
"Google is committed
to continuing to innovate and build services that can contribute
to Europe's economic recovery post-Covid."