Tech Giants Face New Rules in Europe, Backed by Huge Fines

Sam Schechner

European officials want new powers to oversee internal workings at large technology companies such as Facebook, backed by threats of multibillion-dollar fines, as they seek to expand their role as global tech enforcers.

The European Union’s executive arm proposed two bills Tuesday—one focused on illegal content, the other on anticompetitive behavior—that would empower regulators in some cases to levy fines of up to 6% or 10% of annual world-wide revenue, or break up big tech companies to stop certain competitive abuses.

The bills don’t mention any specific company but, as drafted, one or both would likely apply to several large U.S. tech companies including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook.

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