Europe wants to challenge US tech giants' dominance with single data market

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According to a new European Commission proposal, the European Union wants to create a single market in data with the aim of challenging the dominance of US tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook.

The proposal shows how the EU wants to break free from tech giants control of large amounts of data while also positioning the bloc to better compete with Chinese rivals. It also suggests reining in big online platforms though the proposal could be changed ahead of its presentation scheduled for mid February.

A paper laying out the proposal, seen by Reuters (opens in new tab), highlights the fact that big tech firms controlling most of the world's data hurts competition on a global scale, saying:

“Currently a small number of big tech firms hold a large part of the world’s data. This is a major weakness for data-driven businesses to emerge, grow and innovate today, including in Europe, but huge opportunities lie ahead.”

Single data market

The 25-page document outlining the upcoming proposal also suggests that urgency is needed to deal with this situation, saying:

“Competitors such as China and the U.S. are already innovating quickly and projecting their concepts of data access and use across the globe. The winners of today will not necessarily be the winners of tomorrow.”

The objective of the European Commission's proposal is “to create a single European data space, a genuine single market for data”. To achieve this goal, the EU plans to introduce a slew of new rules that cover cross-border data use, data interoperability and standards related to manufacturing, climate change, the auto industry, healthcare, financial services agriculture and energy.

The document also proposes the idea of scraping competition rules that hinder data sharing as well as possibly introducing new rules in order to prevent large online platforms from imposing conditions for access and use of data which allow them to benefit in a disproportionate manner.

We'll likely find out more on the proposal and how the EU wants to create a single data market next month ahead of its presentation.

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Via Reuters (opens in new tab)

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.