Germany’s Proposed Digital Antitrust Reform Targets American Companies

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Posted by Andreas Hellmann & Chrysa Kazakou on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, 4:35 PM PERMALINK

A massive legislative project was introduced by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs last year, which aims to heavily regulate the digital sector by pushing innovative American companies out of the market. 

The proposal which claims to establish “fair competition” is set to be implemented in the second half of 2020 and includes: 

- Imposing stricter antitrust rules on companies that attracting “too many customers.

- Reserve the right of government intervention when a market tips (when customers find it in their best interests to use a common platform).

- Seize knowledge and data from tech market leaders and distribute them to other competing companies.

- Giving the German Antitrust Agency “Bundeskartellamt” greater antitrust oversight and investigation powers on successful companies that develop unique abilities to match buyers and sellers.

This patchwork of privacy and competition law will significantly hurt German customers and businesses. This dangerous combination results in limiting innovation and discourages healthy competition in a country that will diminish new investments for tech market leaders.

Instead of restricting competition and market access for American tech companies, the German government should embrace technology and innovation that makes a real-life difference in every German’s life. This legal tool for taming digital companies will satisfy German lawmakers, but it would make it even more challenging to create internationally competitive digital companies and remain competitive. 

Photo Credit: Herman

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