The EU is considering setting up a new regulator tasked with overseeing internet companies in Europe, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Multiple companies are named as potential subjects for “supervision” in an internal policy document seen by the Wall Street Journal, with the majority of them US companies. Just five companies come from outside America.
The document seen by the Wall Street Journal was created in February 2015, and warns that tech companies are “transforming into super-nodes that can be of systemic importance for the rest of the economy.”
Inside the document, a possible strategy to deal with the growth of tech companies is outlined, the Wall Street Journal says. The document says that Europe needs to create a “supervision framework” designed to prevent unfair behaviour. It also highlights specific companies which may come under investigation, including Amazon, Etsy, TripAdvisor, and booking.com.
The EU recently kickstarted a formal investigation into Google’s dominance of the search engine market in Europe. It filed a Statement of Objections, which outlines concerns that Google was exploiting its dominance to place listings on Google Shopping higher than they would naturally appear.
Europe is also preparing to launch an investigation into Google’s Android operating system, and it will examine whether it tried to prevent manufacturers from creating their own variations of the software (known was “forks”), as well as the way Google services are bundled with Android phones.