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EU to help European firms tackle US tech giants

By Hazel Davis

Data strategy to level playing field will be a boost for smaller tech companies

Thierry Breton will jointly present the European Commission's proposals API

The European Commission is launching proposals to help European companies capitalise on their data and limit the powers of online tech behemoths.

The data strategy and artificial intelligence (AI) discussion papers propose to level the playing field for European companies to compete with large US and Chinese tech companies.

Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, and Thierry Breton, European commissioner for internal market and services, will present the proposals with a view to a final draft by the end of 2020.

The plans are likely to focus on creating a single European data market and smaller data markets in key industries.

There will be discussion of new data rules and standards in manufacturing, the auto industry, healthcare, financial services, agriculture and energy. A call to abolish existing EU rules against anti-competitive data sharing is also proposed.

Elsewhere, an AI discussion paper will look at setting up a usage framework in areas such as healthcare, transport and policing.

A digital services act could force larger tech giants to take on more responsibilities for the actions and content hosted on their platforms. This is likely to be announced towards the end of 2020.

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