Within 24 Hours of Losing her back-tax case against Apple, EU Commissioner Vestager sent out a new threat over Siri
Yesterday, Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple has won a Landmark Court Case in Europe today with the Court ruling that Ireland did not give Apple a Tax Advantage." I think that most North American techies cheered for Apple yesterday while cursing the EU's Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager who has made it her life's mission to ensure that the EU profit's excessively from Silicon Valley giants.
Vestager is constantly sending out invitations to European companies to find something to complain about U.S. tech companies so that she can start another probe looking for yet another lottery win. With a number of big wins against Silicon Valley under her belt, Vestager has no thought of stopping her never ending campaign.
In fact, within 24 hours after the verdict was handed down by the EU’s general court that Vestager didn't make a sound case against Apple, Vestager was back in a news conference early this morning with yet more threats.
It's being reported by Yahoo (via Reuters) that the "EU competition regulators are seeking information from 400 companies to establish if there are problems in the market for voice assistants such as Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri and other internet-connected devices that could lead to antitrust cases.
The European Commission has opened similar inquiries in the past into sectors such as e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, financial services and energy that led to cases against companies and eventually hefty fines.
Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri and Alphabet's Google Assistant are among the most popular voice assistant devices and Vestager is sending "an important message to powerful operators in these market that we are watching them and that they need to do business in line with competition rules," or else. The European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager made that crystal clear at a news conference today.
The report further noted that "The EU executive said its interest was prompted by the large amounts of user data involved in consumer 'internet of things' devices and it wanted to make sure market players did not use their control of such data to hurt competition or thwart rivals."
Lastly, Reuters reminded us that "Vestager, who can fine companies up to 10% of their global turnover for breaching EU antitrust rules, has made the tech industry the centrepiece of her enforcement efforts, taking on Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook in recent years."
Last week Reuters posted a report titled "U.S. slaps French goods with 25% duties in digital tax row, but delays effective date." The report noted that "The Trump administration on Friday announced additional duties of 25% on French cosmetics, handbags and other imports valued at $1.3 billion in response to France’s digital services tax, but would hold off on implementing the move for up to 180 days."
The EU had better pray that Biden is the victor in the election this November. Otherwise they should fully expect a trade war will be triggered shortly thereafter that's been long in the making.