back to article Likes of Google to have undue influence in Brussels, say activists

The EU is in danger of signing away its ability to regulate major US companies - for instance Google and Facebook - according to lobbyists opposed to the way transatlantic trade talks are going. Round eight of negotiations on TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement) is taking place in Brussels this …

  1. ratfox Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Letting companies sue governments for lost profits

    I simply cannot understand how anyone would dare propose such a legislation. I can't remember of anything even remotely close to this. How is a government to ever curb the misdeeds of a profitable company with such a rule?

    "Oh hey, you discovered we were insanely profitable because we were actually spreading a new type of pollutant. If you make it illegal to do it, you'll have to pay us for any profit loss incurred by the new rule."

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Letting companies sue governments for lost profits

      I simply cannot understand how anyone would dare propose such a legislation.

      Because they have no conscience whatsoever. In fact, they're hired with that qualification in mind. Shareholders close their eyes to the dirty work and don't care where the money comes from. It's sickening.

      1. I'm counting

        Re: Letting companies sue governments for lost profits

        Wouldn't it be interesting if governments could sue the shareholders directly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Letting companies sue governments for lost profits

          You realize the whole point of organizing as a corporation is to shield owners from liability. That's why corporations (C corps in the US) are taxed twice, at the corporate level and again at the shareholder level.

          If shareholders were able to be sued directly, there would be no advantage to a corporate structure and you'd probably see the majority of today's public companies taken private in short order.

          1. Keven E.

            Re: Letting companies sue governments for lost profits

            "If shareholders were able to be sued directly, there would be no advantage to a corporate structure and you'd probably see the majority of today's public companies taken private in short order."

            Now that they have (legitmized (sort of)) a "vote" with their money with the passing of "Citizens United"(sic) make 'em all private and responsible across the board. They asked for it. Perhaps it'll serve to trim down to size that overly exposed and imposed gambling institution over there on Wall St. Maybe they'll actually issue jail time for future crooks. It should also create alot of jobs for all those lawyers out there with nothing better to do. Perhaps another 50x(?) Attorneys general + sub staff positions. Just what the libertarians want. <burp>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "you'll have to pay us for any profit loss incurred by the new rule"

      I grew up in Europe and have worked in America for a quarter century. I shudder to think of the knock-on effect of this trade treaty on consumers back home in Europe.

      Every single week large US corporations are fined for outright wrongdoing, usually the consumer extortion type. Whether its illegal 3rd party billing by telcos, or sneaky Wall Street fees on your ever shrinking pension, or paltry fines for pollution.

      God help us all or Dog help us all if you prefer!

  2. James 51

    I'd agree to the sue for profits if governments could sue companies for increase costs i.e. you just made 1,000 people redundant, that will be £x,xxx,xxx for the next year to pay for their benefits and if they are still unemployed we'll come back next year. Oh and parent companies and shareholders are fully liable with no kind of tax dodging shielding allowed.

  3. SundogUK Silver badge

    The only damned thing the EU is good for

    ...and they're going to give it away.

  4. malle-herbert
    Thumb Down

    The USA is starting to sound like a bunch of Ferengi...

    See title...

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: The USA is starting to sound like a bunch of Ferengi...

      Yes, the Federation and the Ferengi seem diametrically opposed.

      The EU define "data protection" as ensuring that a persons data is not abused by big companies.

      The US define "data protection" as protecting big business' rights to personal data and being able to do whatever the hell they like with it.

  5. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Writing legislation

    The civil liberties lobbyists say this is tantamount to letting business lobbyists co-write legislation.

    Actually, they are pretty much doing it already in the EU. But I agree that the treaty would make it even easier, and that is bad.

  6. Keven E.

    Blindly following

    James 51 - Nice suggestions... especially the "no-tax haven" part.

    Greed does not need any more help... especially financial institutions that don't add *real value. Eventually everything and anything can be pointed to as a reason for failure... and what's to prevent claiming that since lack of growth is, in essence, a loss, it's a reason for a suit?

    You EU'ns need to hold your ground, or you'll become a US State... without any representation. (Not that we don't already have a bunch of those)

    BTW - The person who went through this post and down-voted everyone is a victim of the same kind of brainwashing that needs to be continually called out.

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