back to article Leaked EU doc plots €100bn fund to protect European firms against international tech giants

The European Commission wants to set up a €100bn wealth fund to invest directly in local technology companies to help businesses fight international giants like Apple, Google and Alibaba. The European Future Fund is planning to use existing budgets to make direct equity investments in technology organisations, something which …

  1. jarfil
    Boffin

    Nothing to see here

    What do BREXITters still care about the EU? You won't have to pay for this fund (or see a penny from it), so there you go, have fun.

    1. iron Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Why do we care what the news is in USA, Russia, China, Australia, South Africa or Kazakhstan?

      Because we're all part of the same planet and what happens there affects us too.

      1. mihares
        Trollface

        That's until your beloved PM puts forward his plan for "Brexit, the world edition".

        Because who wants immigrants (and neighbours) breathing YOUR air and sending three hundred and fifty million pounds of Oxigen to the rest of the planet every week, when you could stick it in so many iron lungs? Think of the saving for the NHS!

        Expect a referendum on making Britain not only an island, but the second satellite of Earth, soon. And then a three years long fight about a backstop in the middle of the big long pipe connecting the rest of the Kingdom to Derry --and not the slightest whiff of a plan to do the main thing in the first place.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          They obviously want as many immigrants as they can get

          what else is the open border for?

      2. Tomato42 Silver badge

        > Because we're all part of the same planet and what happens there affects us too.

        that's not my impression when I'm listening to B.S. Johnson

    2. codejunky Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Nothing to see here

      @jarfil

      "What do BREXITters still care about the EU? You won't have to pay for this fund (or see a penny from it), so there you go, have fun."

      Thankfully!

    3. streaky Silver badge

      Re: Nothing to see here

      What do BREXITters still care about the EU? You won't have to pay for this fund (or see a penny from it), so there you go, have fun.

      We don't, great way to piss 100Bn down the toilet though.

      For the record wait until the sanctions against EU companies start in Asia, Africa and North America all because you set up a fund that couldn't possibly do what it's intended to do because such businesses can't survive in the EU because of the EU which is why you need the fund in the first place - standard EU deeply flawed circular logic. You're all crazy. Just.. Crazy. Certifiable to use the Americanism.

      1. BinkyTheHorse
        Gimp

        Re: Nothing to see here

        [...] You're all crazy. Just.. Crazy. [...]

        Yes, because blatant protectionism such as very loudly proclaiming trade tariffs, banning foreign suppliers on spurious grounds, and - most relevantly - considering only US-made prior art as "prior art" (which El Reg covered a while ago) is not crazy. Preparing contingencies for such actions of a critical trade partner is, however, crazy.

        Icon for how I see people that blindly believe in some markets being inherently "free", while others are not, despite any actual regulations present.

        1. streaky Silver badge

          Re: Nothing to see here

          At the risk of sounding like a toddler, the EU started it. Compare the tariff rates and barriers the EU applies to US goods versus the same tariffs to EU goods the US applies and tell me maybe Trump doesn't have a point. You can't - because he does.

          Trump isn't a protectionist - he wants a fair system which shouldn't be too much to ask. The UK has been asking for a fair system from the EU too, we've been asking for one for 40 years with no improvement and that's why we're leaving the EU.

          1. BinkyTheHorse

            Re: Nothing to see here

            I understand what you meant to convey, but it is physically impossible for the EU to have "started it", because the US has been playing the trade war game for waaayyy longer than the EU has existed. For you, as an Anglo-Saxon (or as a [possibly unwitting] apologist of that geo-cultural establishment) it may be an academic difference - for me, it's just another label for the same lube dispenser.

            Re your 2nd paragraph - fair is fine, but keep in mind the negotiations hang on a very specific case that affects both the EU *and the EEA*. Put yourself in the shoes of the Norwegians - would you want a leaky border of subpar goods because the EU negotiators didn't have the gonads to make a stand where common sense dictates?

            1. streaky Silver badge

              Re: Nothing to see here

              If the guys running the EU had any sense at all they'd shower Trump with love and he wouldn't know what to do with it. Why is a president of a military dictatorship like North Korea politically and diplomatically smarter that the president of the EU? That's the real question here.

              If they'd just given Trump what he wanted in the first place it costs the EU *nothing* and they gain an ally in the fight against China as they see it. They're all morons and it's embarrassing. Nobody in the EU wants to buy cars made in the US because they're crap - and consumers know it - and if the EU had sense it'd recognise that and realise it doesn't need massive tariffs to keep those vehicles out the market. Similar issue with GM food - demand they're labelled accurately and then let consumers decide what they want.

              Same thing with the WA backstop. It costs the EU (and by that I include Ireland) absolutely *nothing* to not have it, and it's a massive cost to having it and they refuse to budge on it, it's utterly nutty.

              It boggles my mind this is the system and people that citizens of the EU actually want to be governed by. Simple problems require simple solutions, not pretending they are or actually making them 5000x more complex than they need to be.

              1. Shades

                Re: Nothing to see here

                If the guys running the EU had any sense at all they'd shower Trump with love and he wouldn't know what to do with it."
                And lets just send drug addicts to Columbia to get straight. There's no flaws in that plan either, right?
                "Why is a president of a military dictatorship like North Korea politically and diplomatically smarter that the president of the EU?"
                1) Kim isn't but he is smarter than Trump, who handed priceless propaganda to Kim on a silver platter. Tell me, how did that all work out? Of course though its entirely possible the entire world collectively imagined Kim, post-Singapore, "destroying" already destroyed weapons facilities; rebuilding weapons facilities; and resuming missile tests.

                2) I see you're another one of those "informed" Brexiteers; There is no such thing as "President of the EU". I'm sure that was an innocent mistake though, not born of deceitfulness or ignorance.

                "Same thing with the WA backstop. It costs the EU (and by that I include Ireland) absolutely *nothing* to not have it, and it's a massive cost to having it and they refuse to budge on it, it's utterly nutty."
                If you don't think the backstop is necessary then you clearly don't get why its an absolute necessity. Next you'll be telling us that there is no way out of the backstop without the EU's permission, and its all a big trick to keep the UK in the EU, won't you? Spoiler Alert: There is, for both the UK and the EU, but you've read the WA and you knew that? You have read the WA, haven't you?
                "It boggles my mind this is the system and people that citizens of the EU actually want to be governed by. Simple problems require simple solutions, not pretending they are or actually making them 5000x more complex than they need to be."
                I've got some bad news for you; only one type of person see's everything as simple. I'd love to hear your solution for inserting the square peg into the round hole that is the Good Friday Agreement and Brexit (I need a laugh!)

                1. streaky Silver badge

                  Re: Nothing to see here

                  If you don't think the backstop is necessary then you clearly don't get why its an absolute necessity. Next you'll be telling us that there is no way out of the backstop without the EU's permission, and its all a big trick to keep the UK in the EU, won't you? Spoiler Alert: There is, for both the UK and the EU, but you've read the WA and you knew that? You have read the WA, haven't you?

                  I was one of the first members of the public to read it, I distinctly recall live-tweeting reading it. To this day I'm fairly sure I'm one of the very few people who has. The "way out" assumes the backstop itself doesn't have nefarious purpose, which leads anybody with any sense to presume that the backstop has a nefarious purpose. You're forgetting that parliament on legal advice voted this down 3 times and rejected point-blank attempts to bring it back at least another two times. Lets pretend for a second that it's not just me and it's not just brexiteers given the vast majority of parliament are hardcore remainers, can we?

                  I understand the claimed purpose but the claimed purpose is a massive pile of illogical. The claimed purpose is that if there's no FTA as foreseen by the future relationship then somehow the UK blows the single market open. Why's that illogical? If there's no FTA everybody goes their own separate ways and we end up in the same place as under no deal otherwise... I'll give you a chance to think about why that doesn't do what is claimed minus backstop. ignoring the fact it's a nonsense, again, it's almost certainly going to cause the very thing it's supposed to prevent. It's illogicalception - illogical nonsense within illogical nonsense.

                  We've been debating for years if the common law legal system is in any way compatible with the civil law that is used around the rest of Europe, similar to how people debate if sharia law is compatible with same in various countries - the WA is the final proof that it isn't in any way. What boggles my mind is Theresa May couldn't see it and that she thought she could sneak it past parliament.

                  By the way on the presidents thing, yes there's 3 (I can pretend that's not absurd for a few seconds) to simply point out this - it's a colloquialism, when people say that they're referring to the president who shows up to represent the EU, the president of commission and literally nobody is impressed by the pedantic effort of correcting like that as if you know something other people don't. Everybody knows.

                  Oh and by the way Brexit (in any form) and the GFA are entirely compatible with each other. Three years now I've been asking people to cite the sections of the GFA that are affected in any way and nobody has managed it yet.

          2. Shades

            Re: Nothing to see here

            "Trump isn't a protectionist - he wants a fair system"

            Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *breathes* Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

            You keep telling yourself that buddy.

  2. Gaius
    Thumb Up

    This sort of “picking winners” strategy gave us the mighty British Leyland

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > This sort of “picking winners” strategy gave us the mighty British Leyland

      To be fair, British Leyland wasn't so much 'picking winners' as 'combining losers'.

    2. airbrush

      And half billion pound loans to JLR..

      1. Shades

        "And half billion pound loans to JLR."

        To a company that might otherwise have relocated production entirely outside of the EU.

        No doubt it would be the EU's fault it they had of relocated production outside of the EU too.

  3. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    Slightly odd EU thinking going on here...

    So the EU wants to encourage challengers to established Internet giants as well as foster new European 'giants'. In other words exactly the kind of tech start-up that VCs are desperately searching for.

    What makes the EU think they can do better than the VCs? Or more precisely, why do they think EU money can reach parts that VC money can't?

    1. EricM

      Re: What makes the EU think they can do better than the VCs?

      Probably the fact that all VC money is currently spent on "doing XXX with blockchain/KI/Deep Learning" and more general on startups that promise to gather, use and sell sensitive customer data as recklessly as the current market leaders?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slightly odd EU thinking going on here...

      Maybe because there are less VC in Europe, or willingly to spend money in Europe?

      Anyway even in US the DoD has been and still is a huge source of money for many companies. After all the "internet advantage" US had it's because DoD funded the creation of the internet. No private company or VC would have created it alone.

      Or look at Airbus... without direct intervention, there would be only US planes.

      1. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

        Re: Slightly odd EU thinking going on here...

        Or look at Airbus... without direct intervention, there would be only US planes.

        Bombardier (Canadian but a factory in NI), Agusta in Italy, many South American ones. All privately owned (although the US seems to think the UK Gov. subsidies Bombardier)

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Slightly odd EU thinking going on here...

          All of them make plane smaller than a 737/320, and Agusta makes helicopters only... maybe you meant Alenia Aermacchi, but that makes military planes only.

        2. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: Slightly odd EU thinking going on here...

          'Or look at Airbus... without direct intervention, there would be only US planes.'

          The UK was making large airliners before Airbus came along. Thanks to direct intervention where the government told them what to build even the government owned airline had limited interest in buying them. See the VC-10 for an example, designed to operate out of Nairobi* it was over engineered for most other roles, BOAC bought a handful and then more Boeing 707s, which were remarkably like the aircraft Vickers had wanted to build...

          *Nairobi is hot and high which reduces aircraft performance, which is problematic during the take-off portion of the flight.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            "where the government told them what to build"

            That was the mistake...

          2. KBeee

            Re: Slightly odd EU thinking going on here...

            BOAC were one of the main reasons for the VC10. They stipulated they needed a plane capable of using high/hot colonial airports (probably under UK Gov pressure), then fucked off and bought Boeings. A joke accronym for BOAC was Boeing Only Aircraft Considered.

      2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Slightly odd EU thinking going on here...

        > Or look at Airbus... without direct intervention, there would be only US planes.

        That's true but for a different reason. To become an aircraft manufacturer requires huge investment from very patient investors, because of the long lead times between starting design and a plane making it into the air. Private investment wasn't going to take that risk so state funding was the only option.

        New Internet start-ups are hardly in need of huge up-front investments with a very long period before payback. I mean, just look at Martha Lane Fox whose Boo.com went through $135m in 18 months and never delivered a website. I bet the EU will be able to seek out game changers like her.

        1. LDS Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Slightly odd EU thinking going on here...

          "New Internet start-ups are hardly in need of huge up-front investments with a very long period before payback"

          Uber? WeWork? SnapChat? Or worse, Theranos? It's not that VC always bet on the right horse, or understand in time when they chose the wrong one.

          Evidently you can do it the wrong way or the right one - ignoring "elite names" with good connections but without a clue, just selling vaporware. What it's really needed is being able to vet those who are working on really new and good technologies, and not those who are recycling old XIX century business models with an app on top of it.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: What makes the EU think they can do better than the VCs?

      That's not the point. What we have here is a new trough for the snouts of those in the know.

      And, as for creating yet another multinational behemoth intent on harvesting all my details to make money on ads, I'm not sure it is an advantage to have a European one.

      I'm already saturated with ads, don't need yet another source.

  4. Craig McGill 1

    EU completely misses a point...

    Even when Europe and the Nordic areas create big companies or decent unicorns like Nokia and Skyscanner, they get snatched up by US and Asian companies. So that's always going to be a problem.

    Of course, one of the reasons (I suspect) that the EU struggles to develop killer firms is the hassles in growing cross-market. China and the US are one-language markets, which helps growth. You can't do that in the EU.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: EU completely misses a point...

      I think the language issue is a much bigger problem than "getting stitched up". Nokia weren't stitched up, their management were consistently shit for over a decade, and spent all their time on in-fighting and empire building and forgot to release any of their shiny new innovations to market. Thus blowing billions of R&D investment in decent potential products, because they never quite finished everything. And Symbian was "good enough" until it suddenly wasn't (with Android and iOS). Remember that also "stitched up" Microsoft, who had the other 50% of smartphone market share at the time, and who's mobile division also died a horrible lingering death of obsolescence, but with added buying Nokia and releasing another few operating systems that they never quite finished added...

      Clearly Chinese and US companies have the huge advantage of large home markets with similar legislation and language. The EU has similar legislation for products (the Single Market) - but has barely even started on the single market in services, that was supposed to be completed 15 years ago.

      But another big problem is funding. Something like 70-80% of EU companies get their money from banks. Banks are cautious, and conservative with corporate lending. Plus they slash their funding during recessions. Which makes sense, VC money gets equity, and a share of the profits, bank fundingn only gets you interest - so there are no big pay-offs to fund failures. So you're trying to make a small profit from lots of "sure things", not take high risks and hope to recover all the losses in one or two massive successes.

      This is why one of the responses to the Eurozone crisis was to try and get the Capital Markets Union to actually go. To try and reduce company's reliance on bank funding, which was obviously suffering with the Eurozone crisis, but was also seen as a long-term problem, because so many Eurozone banks are tied down with debt that's stopping them from investing.

      This policy could theoretically help with the finance issue. However Commission promises of money aren't always what they seem. The EU budget is pretty small, only 1% of EU GDP - so I think total annual spending by the Commission is under €150bn. So when they announce huge headline numbers, it often means that a small amount of EU money will be invested, in an attempt to attract cash from the markets to create a large headline figure. I've not seen the detail of the proposal though, so don't know.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "The EU has similar legislation for products"

        While there are common rules for products, there are still hurdles and associated costs to sell in each country, as you still have to cope with many different social, legal, financial and tax systems. With services, complexity increases. Moreover not all EU countries are in the Eurozone.

        It's more difficult for a startup to expand quickly in other EU countries, especially if it can't deliver well-localized applications.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: "The EU has similar legislation for products"

          "It's more difficult for a startup to expand quickly in other EU countries, especially if it can't deliver well-localized applications."

          I don't remember a time when Google and Amazon were just US companies. If (as the article claims) we are talking about internet companies, being global from day one seems to be the only model that anyone has followed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: EU completely misses a point...

        I agree entirely, however he wrote "snatched" not "stitched".

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: EU completely misses a point...

          Pointing out that I can't read? There's no excuse for that kind of rudeness online.

          D'Oh!

  5. jpo234

    I think this is about second round effects. The EU fears that the huge money stashes of the big US and Chinese tech companies will allow them to dominate other new fields: think Google ==> Autonomous Driving (Waymo), Amazon ==> Space Flight (Blue Origin), Google ==> Smart Home, ...

    No company in the EU has the deep pockets to risk unlimited funding to build a reusable rocket (Musk made his money with Paypal, Besoz with Amazon).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too little, too late and too many rules and regulations.

  7. DougS Silver badge
    FAIL

    Equity investment in EU startups?

    Man if I was a VC in Europe I'd be licking my chops, there's no way most of this money doesn't end up their pockets and Europe still won't have a Google or Facebook competitor. They're going to set up companies claiming their goal is to be the next Google or Facebook just to get this money knowing they can't possibly make it happen, and then find ways to funnel some of it back to themselves before going bust. Lather, rinse, repeat a few thousand times and there goes the fund!

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Equity investment in EU startups?

      > They're going to set up companies claiming their goal is to be the next Google or Facebook just to get this money knowing they can't possibly make it happen

      That's a little harsh. My new, alternate energy source, car project (powered by block chains™) is just starting and perfectly embodies the forward thinking, dynamic company being targeted by this new fund.

    2. J J Carter Silver badge

      Re: Equity investment in EU startups?

      Just registered tulips.eu to launch an initiative of great importance, the exact purpose of which nobody is to know.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The pie has been cooked and everyone is already eating it, if they want a piece they are going to have to come up with something new and be prepared to make losses at the start.

  9. The Nazz Silver badge

    A radically different approach. With prior art.

    What resources does Europe have that the US , China for example can't snatch or buy up?

    Millions of underemployed, under utilised people. And billions upon billions of ton(nes) of rock. And significant forests.

    What is it desperately short of? Housing.

    Put the people to work in the quarrying, masonry , housebuilding and forestry industries. Perfect, equal opportunities for all, localised work and trickle down economy.

    What do you mean it'd never work? Have you not seen what the capital cities of Europe, not to mention northern towns such as Bradford and Halifax are mostly built out of?

    Bonus(es) : At the end of a working day, most folks would be too knackered to bother with facebook, twitter, snapchat et al. Not to mention a reduction in Obesity.

    Nor would you need investment on a scale anywhere near £100bn of printed money.

  10. Recaf

    Stop selling everything!

    Surely it would be easier just to stop US tech giants buying up every European tech company that becomes even slightly successful or competitive?

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Stop selling everything!

      @Recaf

      "Surely it would be easier just to stop US tech giants buying up every European tech company that becomes even slightly successful or competitive?"

      That would be a good way to stop them from ever developing. A load of stagnant businesses that cant grow anywhere and an EU walled off from the world. That way nobody will buy any successful tech company from the EU because they wont have any.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: Stop selling everything!

        Eh, investment comes from Europe to the U.S. too. Roche owns Genentech, and has for 5 or 7 years now. Fiat ended up with Chrysler. So the merger market is not all rapacious Americans and niave, underresourced Europeans.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Stop selling everything!

            Frankly, the quality of US cars is so appalling - whoever is used to European cars have that feeling whenever he or she has to drive a car in US - that Eastern Europe built would be better.

            Anyway even European made Jeeps are not made in Eastern Europe, FCA usually uses those plants for the lowed-end models.

            1. Benson's Cycle

              Re: Stop selling everything!

              I discover I was misinformed and you are right. Jeeps are now made in China.

              Can I just say, Bwaaa-haaa-haaa-haaa?

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Stop selling everything!

          @Marketing Hack

          "Eh, investment comes from Europe to the U.S. too"

          Of course it does. And that is of massive benefit to us all and we want it to continue. That is why I disagreed with the idea of stopping investment into the EU from the US.

  11. maffski

    Hmm, I can't think why innovation is more limited in the EU

    '...The commission also suggests a move to regulate social media companies in the second half of 2020, pushing for them to take greater responsibility for the content they host...'

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Hmm, I can't think why innovation is more limited in the EU

      Why not, is social media anything other than a cesspit these days? If they were actually heavily fined over the stuff they publish then their management might take an interest in what they publish.

      1. maffski

        Re: Hmm, I can't think why innovation is more limited in the EU

        Because regulation stifles innovation.

        You might have an idea that's better than twitter. But can you then afford the campus of 5,000 reviewers to remove inappropriate content? The department of 50 AI developers and the associated data centre to process all content and mark it for review before the public sees it? And then cope with differing legislation? There are things that are illegal to say in Germany but perfectly legal in The Netherlands. How good is your GPS? And your maps?

        So now as soon as you get any larger than a tiny minnow you're going to have to throw money at all these problems. Still think you're getting that 3rd round of VC funding?

        There's a good reason why twitter etc. now accept regulation is necessary. It's not because they've suddenly decided they have a social responsibility. It's because it's a tool in making sure no-one does to Facebook what Facebook did to myspace.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Hmm, I can't think why innovation is more limited in the EU

          You might have an idea that's better than twitter. But can you then afford the campus of 5,000 reviewers to remove inappropriate content? The department of 50 AI developers and the associated data centre to process all content and mark it for review before the public sees it? And then cope with differing legislation? There are things that are illegal to say in Germany but perfectly legal in The Netherlands. How good is your GPS? And your maps?

          What's Twitter's innovation... nonsense is given the same or more importance than reasoned argument, shorten messages to make lengthy debate more difficult, and mindlessly retweet what someone else has posted?

          The EU's reaction is beating back something which isn't particularly innovative, in fact it can be argued it's regressive (numbers count more than anything else means mob rule).

          Surely the innovation is making an environment which isn't pointlessly addictive (swipe to refresh, about everything notifications), gives the user tools to fend off the mob (have mod powers over replies to your posts), shows what the other side thinks about the subject you're interested in so it doesn't turn into an echo chamber, and does something other than immediately publishing what is written, because that's just GIGO.

          Perhaps something along the lines of this?

  12. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    There's already Qwant...

    A European-based search engine, privacy focused, which could probably do with some capital injection.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: There's already Qwant...

      DeepL which translates better than Google Translate...

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: There's already Qwant...

        It may do...

        I tried DeepL on a "difficult" text - the first section of Akhmatova's Requiem - and it did not do nearly as well as Google Translate, making a few howlers,such as "fairy story" for "mass", which GT gets right.

        On the other hand, with another text I like to try out - de Heredia's La Trebbia - honours were more even.

        DeepL did quite well with a few literal errors up to "Le piétinement sourd des légions en marche." which it turned into "The deaf trampling of the moving legions." - there was no context sensitivity there at all, whereas GT managed "The muffled trampling of the legions on the march" which is, to say the least, very good indeed. I suspect this is one of the many cases where someone has suggested an improvement to the Google version and it has been adopted. (I know it is not really context sensitive and GT doesn't "understand" that legions are on the march while, say, a piece of machinery would just be moving as per DeepL).

        Conclusion:any automatic translator is risky if you don't know the languages involved, but in any case YMMV and I don't think a blanket "better than" is justified.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: There's already Qwant...

          For the three language pairs I use, it does make a pretty good effort at translation, so much so that I only use Google Translate now if I'm on the mobile and need camera recognition (yes, I turn off the camera permission afterwards...).

  13. Slx

    I don't really see the big deal when you consider how much US and other fundamental technology has come from vast government funded projects like DARPA.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    €100bn will cost them that just to get on the first rung of the ladder against Google in search alone, never mind the rest of them. It takes the EU 47 committee meetings and 25 votes in parliament just to decide the colour of paper that a report is going to be printed on, I don't think it's going to end up being well spent.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We'll call it the "Failed Cloud Transformation through inertia and the desire to manage stand-alone PCs" fund. We'll use it to buy even more devices on the grounds that managing is difficult and does not work.

  16. veti Silver badge

    This is why Brexit is as bad for Europe as it is for Britain

    All these years, Britain has been the number one moderating force keeping Europe away from this kind of idiocy. Since it withdrew from the decision making, the EU has made more and bigger strides in the direction of full-on stupidity than it ever did in the 30 years before. (Well, discounting the euro, at least.)

    It's sheer pie in the sky. The total EU budget is only €165bn. Which specific European nations do you think will be up for donating their money into a €100bn fund on top of that?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: This is why Brexit is as bad for Europe as it is for Britain

      Who said it was €100bn per year? Most likely that is the total "wealth fund" that would be used over many years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is why Brexit is as bad for Europe as it is for Britain

        >Who said it was €100bn per year? Most likely that is the total "wealth fund" that would be used over many years.

        Google revenue for 2018 was $116bn, MS $110bn, Amazon $233bn, Apple $265.6bn, Facebook $55.8bn

        The words chump change come to mind.

  17. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Open Source only!

    And they organisation must all have .eu domain names. That's so important.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The EU wastes more money trying to recreate Google etc with 'Spare Change' !!!

    No one can compete with Google, MS, Amazon, Apple and Facebook ('The Big Ones').

    They have too much money and established infrastucture to support their global companies.

    The fact that these companies are now so firmly entrenched in the lives of the masses means that the US of A always has the upper hand.

    The EU can try to be a big player *BUT* the lack of any Hi-Tech entity that is as significant as 'The Big Ones' makes any debate somewhat one sided.

    Any attempt to control 'The Big Ones' is difficult as 'threats to block' cannot be enforced without the EU's own people being impacted.

    Political reality therefore weakens their hand.

    The EU, after due consideration, have decided they would like some Hi-Tech entities that could swim in the same lake with 'The Big Ones'.

    Specifically, they want/need EU based competitors to even up the odds and allow any 'threats to block' to have teeth !!!

    Any subsequent 'wringing of hands' by the EU populace will be diverted by having an 'Alternative' available that is 'Blessed' by the EU.

    That is the 'Gameplan' *but* it will not work as the funding is not enough and more crucially the money will be 'Syphoned' away by the usual suspects.

    Totally unheard of companies will promise the world and will by 'pure chance' be owned/affilated with EU politicians who can vouch for their suitability.

    This will ensure that the monies are 'fairly' allocated and, in just a few years, the money will be spent *but* nothing will be delivered for it.

    SOP, I believe !!! :)

  19. localzuk

    EU companies don't become giants

    Simply because as soon as any of them have anything interesting, one of the existing giants just buys them. Giants don't become giants through 100% natural growth. They get there by acquisitions.

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