E.U.’s New Digital Czar: ‘Most Powerful Regulator of Big Tech on the Planet’

Margrethe Vestager, whose billion-dollar fines have made her loathed by Silicon Valley, has won new powers that give her unrivaled regulatory reach. President Trump says she “hates the United States.”

Comments: 98

  1. If there is too much concentrated power in Ms. Vestager's hands, that might just be the reflection of the monopolized global power in the hands of a few Silicon Valley moguls. Nobody voted for them, and no, choosing their products is not 'voting' and should under no circumstances be tantamount to hand over all your data and power to them. As for "hating the US": Europe, unlike China, has allowed American tech companies to use their huge home market as a springboard to completely dominate the European competition (which is still fractured along national borders and therefore, due to economies of scale, mostly ineffective in service industries). Europe did so, based on transatlantic trust, that has been earned by the United States in the past. Not so much in the present, though.

  2. Oh, she is brilliant and so very accessible. I think she has balanced point of view and makes uncommonly brave decisions.

  3. she is in fact a very good news for the United States and the American people. Trump would not be president if social media were regulated. and a very good news even for big tech. unregulated large companies don't end well.

  4. I read somewhere, she is also working on requiring 2G/3G/4G/5G mobile operators to always allow data to go through even if your plan runs out of metered data. So, if your mobile operator gives you 2GB per month, when that runs out, instead of having your data connection totally blocked (until you pay more money or until the end of the month), you will be getting 10K every 5 minutes, added to your account. This will allow some basic functionality to go through (such as location tracking, simple messages, etc.). So, essentially, every phone (even the prepaid voice-only plans) will have some data functionality, which, I think, at the end, it will also be good to the mobile operators.

  5. @S The (multinational) Telcos used to impose 'roaming charges' on Europeans using their phones in other European countries. These could be pretty hefty - like doubling, or even more, the call cost. The EU first capped roaming charges and has now banned them. One of the 'Brexit benefits' is that UK phone users will be paying for roaming again.

  6. Excellent choice as are many of the other senior EU commission appointments made yesterday. Each country in Europe has proposed its very best people for consideration. It’s a matter of national pride in Europe on how qualified proposed candidates for these important leadership roles. When will the USA get true leaders and experts to lead its policy development and implementation?

  7. “The reason we use it is that Google has very good products.” In 2019, the last sentence now needs to be changed to say “it was a very good product, but searches too frequently turn up answers paid for by clients that diminish the usefulness of the search.”

  8. For those who think Mrs. Vestager is strictly anti-American in her business investigations should understand that in her earlier role her office took on the polluting German automobile cartel and its nefarious "defeat devices" as well. Although the final disposition of fines (as far as I can see) is still pending, they will probably be substantial relative to the size of the companies within the cartel.

  9. If only E.U. supported tech with the same vigor it attacked it. Where do all these fines go to anyway?

  10. @Ed Hunter Where do American regulators' fines go? FDA, EPA, who pockets their fines? And what about German regulators?

  11. Does anyone doubt that increased regulation of digital services is needed? “She hates the United States,” President Trump said, “perhaps worse than any person I’ve ever met.” This has nothing to do with love or hate of the US. These are global companies using the personal data of billions of people, sometimes illegally and without consent, to continue and expand their empires. If they were EU companies Trump would be imposing tariffs. I hope the US creates it’s own regulatory body since the FCC and FTC sit on their hands.

  12. Perhaps a minor point, but what’s with that photo? Usually if the subject has her eyes closed and she is totally in shadow, we toss it out. Someone subtly trying to present her as dark and dangerous? I see her as a hero.

  13. Glad to have Ms. Vestager working on these issues. The U.S. government is corrupt and dysfunctional. We need someone to regulate these companies.

  14. It for google to turn off the internet in Europe for a week

  15. Google is in no position to turn off the internet which, incidentally, was invented by Europeans

  16. @Umish Katani The Internet is not one network. it is a series of interconnected networks across the globe. I work for a Telco and we are in connected to numerous other Telco networks to provide Internet functionality. Google just rides on top of this Internet that we have spent billions building. Bing by Microsoft does the same thing. There is more than one search engine. So your idea really doesn't work. Google makes a lot of demands of the carriers and if you knew about them you might be a little shocked. For instance they want telcoss to directly connect to them for free. Normally any other customer pays for high speed 10 gig BGP connections in significant amounts of money every month. Not Google. I would call that an abuse of power because they know how important they are and don't care.

  17. @Christian Lacheze I support Vestager and wish the US would follow the EU's lead on this matter, but which "Europeans" invented the internet? I never heard that.

  18. Thank goodness for the Europeans showing the way. The rest of us are just patsies for tech.

  19. Ok, if we can’t compete with America, let’s regulate them. Classic Europe! I am no big fan of tech and they need regulation but this European bureaucrat is not the panacea as every one seems her to be

  20. @Sri Sambamurthy Thank god for Europe then. Unregulated "competition" all too often ends in bloodshed, doesn't it.

  21. The debate in Europe on this issue is more advanced than in the US where the debate has hardly begun. The EU has had advanced data protection for decades and now has the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is even more evolved and governs how every institution uses your personal data. The abuse and sale of personal data in the US is profoundly shocking. Personal data is being monetised for private gain and without proper consent. A veritable army of technological Peeping Toms has been enabled. Privacy has been privatised. In the EU, privacy is regarded as a human right. “Individualism” means nothing if Governments allow corporations to gather, own, aggregate and abuse personal data belonging to the individual. This must be governed by law and the individual must have a remedy. In the EU they do. This is not over-regulation. Digitalisation raises profound philosophical and human rights issues for society, the individual and the maintenance of democratic norms in a manner unprecedented in human history. It’s abuse must be regulated. Just look at what is happening in China. George Orwell would consider his seminal book, 1984, to have grossly underestimated the power of an overweening State to oppress the individual. You think it can’t happen in a democratic society? It is happening.

  22. @Sri Sambamurthy You do realise how much cheaper it is to use a cell phone is in Europe? And no nuisance calls. If you want to pay more for less choice, no regulation and be swamped by cold-callers, so be it. For my part I thank the EU for trying to ensure a level playing field in business.

  23. Among the reform of government and re-establishment of international relations, and the arrest and prosecution of all of the Trump Administration criminals, the next Administration must join the European effort to restore personal privacy and end the exploitation of our citizens.

  24. It's so good for our global "OK Google" kids who whatsapp and snapchat and instagram as if it were bodily functions - that there is at least ONE entity giving those platforms or 'weapons of "dis"-information' (the medium is indeed the message here, and also the massage) a hard time regarding questions of accountability, deception, and monopolistic over-reach. Given that Russian weaponization of Facebook targeted the core of US democracy, it's simply stunning that apparently noone in Washington is there to ask for any kind of "algorithmic justice' or even transparency! Sure, Zuck is grilled before committee a bit, but nothing much / more really happened. (Enter 2020...) And regarding the Europe market - those couple of billions in fines are only a tiny fraction of the taxes US "internet" companies save by having hundreds of millions of customers and clients in Europe while only accounting for tiny taxable profits in their European 'daughters', using tax law loopholes and ingenious corporate conglomerate property shiftings.

  25. This woman is a true hero. The EU is showing itself to be truly visionary in working rein in technologists. There really isn't any moral core amongst the leading technology companies and little, if any, understanding of the impacts of technology. It's all a matter of filling bank accounts, of "winning" and trying new shiny objects. The rate of change is so fast that nothing in our past has been able to prepare us for coping. The current education models for both MBAs and STEM have virtually eliminated any semblance of Liberal Arts and even any exposure to ethics or moral philosophy. The harsh reality is that most technologist could care less about the impacts on the rest of the world. Ms. Vestager's mission seems to be to remind them of that responsibility and the need for ethical and moral conduct.

  26. We need to understand the real context of why this is happening. Europe is now the leader of the free world. For decades Russian military doctrine has identified cyber to be real theatre of modern warfare. In 2016 Putin attacked and successfully overthrew the democratic order in the USA. Europe stands as the only state system actively trying to patch these threats to individual freedom posed by aggressive uses of the new technologies. It is conducting what in military terms should be considered a rear guard action for the protection of democracy. They have been weakened by the capitulation of Turkey, Poland, Hungary and the danger of Brexit. I hope that Europe's actions will go past the current defensive stage and seek to actively promote privacy, freedom and responsible ecological economics throughout the rest of the world. Right now their real ally is the State of California. That could be good news if coordinated with a revolt among the workers of Silicon Valley. They are the ones who are in the best position to see what the real threat is.

  27. @Phil very informative! Thanks for the clarity.

  28. @Phil Yes a lot of this is very accurate but the American people need to be held somewhat responsible for some of the weaken of the American democracy. We are arm wrestling with a very organized voting body who believe that Jesus was born in Missouri, anyone who isn't heterosexual and white is unworthy of their voting rights and that every American should own as many guns as they want. We were a powerful example to the rest of the world minus our abhorrent treatment of people of color and we squandered it.

  29. To keep this public menace in place was overdue. Fine them to the trillions. Mankind does not need this playground for boys who'll never grow up.

  30. There's no mention here of Vestager stepping into regulating content that amounts to election interference such as big tech blocking populist candidates and defunding them and any mention of their causes. There's already been a shift of these candidates and bloggers to private search engines and their voices have pretty much been stifled on Google and Facebook.

  31. @Gordon There's no mention either of Facebook doing exactly the same thing. Or Google modifying search results to the detriment of the far-Right.

  32. There may not be any mention of it because the only roll Vestager and regulators have had has been to stop the spread of election interference through misinformation. Populist campaigns seem to be under the misguided notion that any efforts to block their right to spread lies and incite hate is silencing their speech. Stick to the truth and there won’t be a problem.

  33. Keep up the good work!

  34. As I state earlier in a reply Google abuses the telco's by insisting on free BGP connections to their networks so that customers in the telco networks can get high speed search results. The thing is is Google insist on this if they're going to connect to directly to your network and sell it to you as a benefit. It's an abuse of power. any other customer will spend thousands of dollars per month for this type of connection. But not Google.

  35. If money equals power (in the US, it also equals speech—not so much in Europe) then consider that even with all the Big Tech regulation these companies are still operating and still generating huge profits. What does that say about the US’ lack of regulation? Put it this way: We pay $60/month for mobile-phone service in the US, while the same service (better, actually, as we get a bigger data package) is $12/month in France. The main reason is that Europe balances consumers’ interests against corporate hegemony, while in the US the corporations run Washington. The result is people like Jeff Bezos ending up with $150 B in the bank. Where do you think those excessive profits come from?

  36. In a nutshell, your argument for severe punishment is not based on any specific action these companies have taken, but on the amount of profit they make.

  37. @David Walker Yes . A complete package in Paris with home internet by fiber optic , much faster than anything that exists in the US ( and symetrical in and out ), and a mobile phone service, is 70 Euro / month . About 80 dollars .

  38. To all Americans bemoaning 'excessive European power', where were your guys? Why aren't you calling the shots? If America had led on this, developed the sort of regulatory frameworks for data, privacy, anti-trust, digital tax avoidance and so on that Europe has, the world would be be beating a path to your door to follow. Sitting on your hands, being in thrall to corporates and their shareholders and bound by a general wish to leave undisturbed the sanctity of free markets has left you eating Europe's dust.

  39. Do we really need another reason to loathe the EU?

  40. @M Your question should be: does the rest of the world need anymore reasons to shake their collective heads at the US and try not to loathe us!

  41. @M Americans are completely ignorant of the dishonest business conducted in Europe by the USA . It is not their fault, it is the fault of the US press and articles like this one . Only lies . Americans love lies .

  42. Good! Just because it is new and fueled by the Internet does not make it free of regulation. Uber. You need to treat your drivers well. Waze. You need to stop directing traffic to residential roads. Google. You need to stop collecting our information without our explicit permission. Facebook. You need to better manage content on your platform.

  43. Too bad we don't have an equivalent EFFECTIVE watchdog in the U.S.

  44. My training is in microwave engineering—think cell phones and telecommunications technology. For years I worked in telecom-related R&D before moving into (microwave-related) climate science. The research group I was part of also has a strong 5G R&D effort, and I could’ve easily moved into that area; probably would’ve been forced to once Trump got elected and climate science became anathema. Part of my decision to retire rather than work on 5G was the result of asking myself one key question, “Do I really want to devote my talents to making a few big companies even richer than they already are, just so people can download cat videos faster and watch streaming movies anywhere, all the time?” If I sound like a Luddite, so be it. Besides the money angle, I also recognize the security problems inherent in 5G. Regulating High-Tech is absolutely essential both for economic and security reasons. The US puts itself in an extremely precarious position by not reigning in these companies.

  45. Backward Europeans fatten themselves on fines against American tech companies. Payback will follow. Regulation is one thing, anti foreigner penalties quite another.

  46. @Rhporter do you see yourself or America as an advanced country in the compassionate field? If so, hmmm.

  47. @Rhporter The Americans who export greed, war, decadence and corruption can and should be spanked. Naughty, naughty tech firms, as the POTUS says. We love the US for its good sides, we dislike it for its bad sides.

  48. @Rhporter /you believe the lies ? For a 1 billion fine Google has escaped 30 billions from its European market in one year without paying 1 $ in tax to the EU , while using infrastructure, cheating to sell data illegally and destroying economies by unfair monopoly .

  49. I commented earlier, but I should add that I've been involved in the technology space for nearly 40 years. I've watched the people in it evolve over those decades. I've also watched and the extreme specialization of the education process for budding technologists are allowed to totally avoid non-relevant courses in colleges and universities. Instead of getting a true college education, they're being molded into highly skilled, but exceedingly myopic, techies. The possible social and societal implications of what is done isn't even on the table for consideration. If the potential is raised, its pushed down with responses like "but this is so cool". A fundamental question, perhaps more important today than ever before, is "Because we can, should we?".

  50. The United States has allowed tech giants to abuse our personal data and stifle competition. A lack of understanding of new technologies in the halls of Congress is a big part of the problem, but lobbying dollars haven’t hurt either. The EU has stepped in to protect the rights of their citizens in ways the US doesn’t. Why should every American have their home addresses, phone number, employer data, etc. available to the entire world via search? Why should Facebook be able to sell my personal information, including the personal information of my friends, to companies to use any way they want? I get no control over what they share and all of my content is open for them to use including everything I’ve ever posted and every private conversation I’ve ever had through Messenger. It’s absurd.

  51. The thing that never ceases to amaze me is how many conservatives here in the US claim to profess such a level of distrust for big government, but at the exact same time they pledge their undying loyalty to big corporate America COMPLETELY unaware of the irony. It’s almost funny. They refuse to put their mother’s maiden name on a small business loan request or whatever, but when their corporate Human Resources office tells them they can get 50 corporate scrip points which can be redeemed at the company store for a Casio watch, they can’t WAIT to strap on that Fitbit and give the corporation all of their biometrics. Just amazing.

  52. @Austin Ouellette They want campaign donations or cushion jobs after leaving politics.

  53. Cyberspace needs a watchdog, with teeth. I welcome Ms. Vestager's continued service to the EU citizenry and wish her the best of luck. May she blaze a trail that US regulators will in due course want to follow.

  54. Go for it all and order each one of these companies to be closed two days a week in Europe. Until the Europeans can catch up. The Chinese even do worse they just copy the idea, and technology and do let US leaders to operate unless they turn over their technology. Go for it Europe!

  55. The new gilded age robber baron malefactors of great wealth aka Silicon Valley need to be busted up, fined up and locked up. Corrupt crony capitalist corporate plutocrat oligarch welfare should be condemned as organized crime. What is legal in America is what should embarrass and shame Americans as a betrayal of American values and interests. If only we lived in a divided limited different power constitutional republic of united states where the people were the ultimate sovereign over their elected and selected hired help.

  56. Yesterday: address, phone number, age, gender Today: social profile, ideology, political party Tomorrow: genome. the final human data. Ms. Vestager quite possibly knows Silicon Valley better than Washington.

  57. Wow! I wish we had a leader like her in America...even if she doesn’t know how to use “myself” in a sentence.

  58. @Paula There was a push so that Mrs Vestager , who is a centrist right in the EU would become the general president of the EU commission but Merkel succeeded at sitting her candidate who has no power and no charisma.

  59. @Paula You have. Bring on Liz Warren for President.

  60. @JPH What?? Merkels prefered candidate was Manfred Weber and this guy hasnt even a position in the EU now. The new general president was a suggestion from Macron and was put in power by the majority of the eu countries and the eu parliament.

  61. This is thoroughly exciting! Leave it to a woman in Europe to stand up to all the sneaker wearing tyrants who trade our secrets everyday for enormous profits!! Good on you EU! Go forth and know there are many Westerners who are thrilled about this.

  62. Good news. It would be even better if we had a similar office invested with real regulatory power in the US to reign in blatant abuses by Silicon Valley. We need more regulation not less and ultimately if they don’t change, these companies will likely be broken up. Time and again companies like Facebook, Google and Apple have said they safeguard user’s data but instead have sold that private data without permission to the highest bidder. They can’t be trusted. Privacy is non-existent in the US and it is only a matter of time before social media and the power of tech companies are wielded for political control. One could argue that already has happened given the misinformation spread by foreign actors on Facebook “newsfeeds” that helped elect Trump.

  63. Why can the EU do what US 'regulators' fail to accomplish? You go girl!

  64. @The Sanity Cruzer The NYT never published an honest article about the dishonesty and damage of US corporations in the EU . There is a scandal in France with GE who managed to by Alstom who makes the TGV at the same time as Macron presidential campaign, with serious suspicion that GE bought the deal under the table ( there is a justice investigation ) with GE signing in the contract that they would hire 1000 engineers . As soon as the deal was signed, instead of hiring 1000 engineers they fired 1000 with now the future danger that they close the factory in Belfort . There is a campaign to denounce the dishonest contract of GE , who also cheats to pay zero taxes . But no sign of this in the US press . Of course .

  65. Speaking as a Data Center Security Officer, having managed IT Security at 2 data centers at a major domestic financial institution, I welcome the oversight. Financial institutions expect regulation to be reactive, not preventive. That is a great disservice to the customers and a boon to executive management who will be quick to run to their next scam at their next job. A bonus is already in place, regardless of their performance.

  66. If trump hates her, I love her.

  67. Americans have a culture of dishonesty .

  68. Better look around. Try a little perspicacity. You are probably young and need more experience.

  69. Here’s the answer to why the next Google, Facebook, etc. Or any Innovation will never come from Europe… Extreme socialism and over regulation.

  70. It’s so embarrassing when someone posts tripe like “extreme socialism” in respect of European countries. Europe is social democratic i.e. capitalist with a large C but with a strong social conscience. The EU itself has four core “freedoms”. These are the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. All of these are enshrined in its “internal market” which is more far reaching in many respects than that of the US. One could hardly imagine a less socialist paradigm. As for over-regulation I don’t see it. Another core principle of the EU is “subsidiarity” - that the EU should only do those things which cannot better be done at the individual country level. It was under-regulation that gave rise to the last major recession led by misconduct in the financial sector. It is under-regulation that has given us Cambridge Analytica and the massive misuse of personal aggregated data to undermine democracy and its values. The pursuit of profit alone and personal gain with no regard for the public good requires better regulation. The core issue in terms of regulation is always where the right balance should be struck. The US has struck that balance in favour of the rich, powerful and monied. Those who bankroll politicians and the political process. This is called corruption in most normal democracies. The balance that should be struck needs to favour the ordinary citizen. The EU is doing the right thing here and the debate in EU counties is intense. Democracy in action.

  71. Oh dear. Big tech is the biggest threat to our democracy that we’ve ever encountered. Congress is full of uninformed, sleepy old men, that have stood by and watched and done nothing. Bring on the tough regs. An illustration: recall Zuc stated to congress that it was ridiculous that FB influenced the election? He sold all our data to Cambridge Analytics who undermined the election. Zuc had no idea what Cambridge had used the data for. And he owns the company.

  72. So I assume you would have preferred to buy your sugar from the Sugar Trust, your gasoline from Standard Oil, etc. Same thing.

  73. In hindsight high-tech tax/fines is an obvious move by low tech Europe. Envy, can't compete, little hope of catching up, brain drain -> let's tax/fine overseas high tech. Sure, any company should be scrutinized, but some of Vestager and Co's analyses of very complicated tech issues are biased and incorrect.

  74. Well, the fines VW had to pay in the US and some German banks were even higher. Important is that such fines are justified. I for example do appreciate that I can chose between browsers which without fining Microsoft some years ago by the EU for "suggesting" the Explorer would not be the case. We need protection of our liberties by and through institutions.

  75. The EU cannot come up with innovative tech of their own so they have decided to cash in on America's tech companies through outrageous fines. The jealousy of America on the part of the EU is obvious. This lady has been chosen by the French and German gentlemen in charge of the EU to be the heavy whose job it is to fleece America and bring home the bacon to Brussels.

  76. There is a German woman in charge of the European Commission and the EU's most powerful state.

  77. Please stop seeing this issue through national tinted glasses. This issue is international in nature. The same laws are applied to every EU tech company (of which there are thousands) and to every single holder of personal data in every institution, company and government organisation in the EU. In other words the impact of these laws are felt much more profoundly in the EU than in the US. But why then are more and more US companies seeing that this is the way to go and asking the US Government to legislate? Why are more companies “badging” their products as compliant with “GDPR” (the EU regulation which governs the use of data)? I’ll tell you why. Because they can read the writing on the wall. The Wild West days are over. The EU, under the eye of the US, is actually stealing a massive competitive advantage. Put your data here. We will legally protect your data and your rights, by international Treaty (EU law), with the same laws applying in every EU state to 500 million people and with ultimate oversight by one court, the European Court of Justice. The EU will not tolerate the abuse of your personal data or monopolistic misbehaviour by tech giants which suppresses competition. Your own regulators, formerly world leaders, have been emasculated. The EU is changing behaviour. The EU will have one system and one law for oversight. Will the US have 50 different laws? Where would you base your business for regulatory consistency and simplicity? Wake up.

  78. @Asher So, why don't American tech companies pull out of operations in the EU?

  79. So an unelected bureaucrat gains more and more power. Now, is the EU such a great thing? Of course this is Europe. It's always been about the power behind the green baize door.

  80. @Daedalus I prefer the indirectly elected 'bureaucrat' to the completely unelected tech-billionaire, thank you.

  81. @rogox Fish are not aware of water.

  82. Hmmm where are these fines going to? Very interesting...

  83. @Don Q Why, into the pockets of Ms. Vestager, or what was it, that you wanted to imply?

  84. @rogox Obviously not that, although I'm sure there's a reason you didn't point out the real answer as well as I.

  85. Why, into the budget of the EU mainly, actually. (in the case of the tax avoidance of Apple in Ireland it went into the coffins of the Irish state)

  86. I wonder how Ms. Vestager would react if the companies she is attacking were European? Thus far, Europe has failed to develop successful competitors to Ms. Vestager's targets. Her actions will likely help that happen if pursued aggressively enough. This leads to the possibility that the enforcement efforts are merely a smoke screen for enabling European companies to become more dominant than the American companies that are now under attack by the European authorities.

  87. American companies aren’t under attack. They simply dominate in an area with profound implications for individual liberty and democratic pluralism. This issue is bigger than nationalism. The same laws apply precisely to EU companies and many EU companies and institutions have received heavy fines from national regulators operating under the same EU laws. It would be a serious mistake to view this issue as being based on the EU seeking competitive advantage for EU companies. To be blunt I’m afraid you’re looking in a US mirror if you think so. It’s much more fundamental than that and these policies have enormous public support as I suspect they would in the US if the people were properly informed. The root of this approach can be traced back to the bitter and recent personal experience of many EU nations of Government tyranny, whether that be communist or fascist, and the determination that this tyranny should not be allowed in either the Government or corporate domain through the use of “big data” which allows unprecedented insight into the personal and private behaviour of human beings. Anonymisation of data does not prevent tech companies from forming a detailed picture of one’s most private life if there are enough points of comparison. And then there is the “harvesting” of aggregated data gathered for other purposes and used without your consent. This issue is a pivotal one for our times. Don’t fall for the nationalist narrative.

  88. @jpduffy3 EU companies have received the largest fines by far. The US company are just the only thing the incompetent US media reports on

  89. @jpduffy3 She is attacking and fining european companies all the time, but thats not newsworthy for us american media. She doesnt make a difference between countries.

  90. High time someone brought these cultural wildcatters under control. Our government lacks the spine and/or moral upbringing to do it. Under our current pseudo-Christian leadership, we have become Mammon's brothel. It is currently up to the older, more mature cultures of Europe to set the moral standards for the West.

  91. @William Burgess Leavenworth All major US firms are fiscally established in the EU in Ireland and cheat to pay zero taxes. That is Apple, yahoo, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Starbucks, Netflix and others. They repatriate the cash money through London and the US Offshore banks in the Caribbean.They also don't respect the laws about privacy of data in Europe.

  92. I am just Curious, but isn't a feminine Czar a Czarina?

  93. @John Arthur Feesey yes it shows something hidden in the language here which is that it is that a woman is defying the US male capitalist ideology that is in question here. The article, apart from being insulting and full of lies is attributing her the role of a man with an authoritarian absolute power like in Russia before the revolution. And here the poor Americans are the serfs. Very bad dishonest twisted journalism

  94. She isnt really bad for Big Tech. The more rules that exist the more that ONLY big tech companies can comply to them. Look at GDPR. It was supposed to hurt Big Tech AD sales. It didnt because they are the ones who could only offered them.

  95. The fiscal fraud of US firms in Europe amounts to 20 % of the EU budget annually. Apple, Amazon, yahoo, Google, Facebook, Starbucks, Netflix, and others. All registered fiscally in the EU and not paying any taxes. And on top of that they don't respect the laws about data privacy , monopoly, etc.. Mrs Vestager is no Czar. She is just a European administration employee trying to make the European laws respected and fight business dishonesty. The European system works on participation for health care, free education and other social benefits that make the EU have 8 times less crime than in the US and 8 times less incarceration rate. If the US corporations behave in the EU and invade the markets as if they were in the US, they cause damage to the European community and they show disrespect. European firms don't invade the US and cheat to pay no taxes. Why do Americans always think that they own the world ?

  96. Amazing, no one votes for her and yet she has tremendous power.

  97. @Trevor Downing No one votes for a government minister either. European commissioners have to pass a hearing in the European parliament - in fact that‘s been modeled on the U.S. system.

  98. The interesting thing is that this article is very precise at saying the amounts of fines that the EU with Mrs Vestager ( as if she was alone in the European administration which is a staggering ignorance of how the European commission is structured and works and votes laws - typical anglo uneducated complotist view ) but the articles fails at saying how much money Google or other US corporations make as benefit in the European market. And finally the article completely fails at saying that some of these so called "fines " are in fact redressments related to the tax exemptions that these US firms auto authorize themselves to operate under or simply the fiscal fraud that they execute upon the European budget .