The New York Times has just published a long interview with Margrethe Vestager, head of the EU cartel department. Over the last five years, Vestager has imposed some of the biggest fines on US technology companies as the EU is one of the few authorities with political influence to evade taxes on companies like Apple ($ 14.5 billion fine) ) and Google ($ 9 billion for a series of antitrust violations). Now Vestager begins a second five-year term in which she has even more power over the digital policy of the trading bloc.
It is not surprising that Vestager's relentless pursuit of the technology giants of Silicon Valley has upset some of the feathers, not least the President of the United States.
"She hates the United States," President Trump said in a television interview in June, "perhaps worse than any person I've ever met." Interview, and it provides an interesting insight into their thinking on recent complaints in the EU. This is a complaint that Spotify recently raised regarding Apple Music and the App Store.
"Some of these platforms have both player and referee roles, and how can that be fair? ", she asked. "They would never accept a football match in which one team was also a referee."
In the interview, Vestager also addresses complaints that EU antitrust investigations are taking too long, and she says she could take new measures to end the insulting behavior earlier. So the New York Times announces its answer.
Dr. med. Vestager said that part of the criticism was justified. It is taking steps to expedite the investigation and is applying a seldom-used rule known as "interim injunction." It calls on companies to refrain in a certain way while an investigation can be conducted.