back to article Euro competition chief mulls forcing tech giants to prove their actions aren't harming market

European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager has proposed forcing technology firms to prove their actions are not harming the market or consumers. Vestager told the Financial Times that no decision had been reached, but there was a discussion to be had on what kind of regulation would be useful. She noted that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm always wary of big biz but shouldn't the onus of proof be on the prosecution ?

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: onus of proof.

      It's not the same scenario as individuals charged under a criminal justice system, nor indeed civil law, where more often you do have to prove you didn't do wrong. It's a completely different issue especially as many big international companies are more powerful than countries and think laws don't apply to them at all.

      See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_corporate_acquisitions_and_mergers

      These lists are incomplete.

      Victorian Antony Trollope saw a lot of this coming: "The Way We Live Now".

      c.f. Dickens and "Little Dorrit".

      Or John Brunner and "Shockwave Rider", far better than over hyped "Future Shock".

      Maybe even Roland Perry "Program for a Puppet".

      Which Corp is most like House Harkonnen?

      1. big_D Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: onus of proof.

        I'd add Marc-Uwe Kling's Qualityland to that list, for a modern, satirical look at the modern big business.

        I have Peter's Problem.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      This is a different scope. Think for example about mergers - when you have to prove the merged entity won't hamper competition and damage customers to be approved. Or product safety, which puts the onus on you to demonstrate a product is safe.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Justice...

      Guilty until proven innocent? Fits perfectly with the EU's level of control-freakery.

  2. and I

    Fox/hen house

    see above

  3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Only American tech companies?

    Bastions of moral proberty like VolksWagon or Deutsche Bank will be fine then

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Only American tech companies?

      Do you know Vestager stopped the Alstom/Siemens merger, enraging Paris and Berlin? Plus fined a lot of European companies too?

      But Volkswagen pollution issues and Deustche Bank financial ones are not under Vestager powers.

    2. Dinanziame

      Re: Only American tech companies?

      Price-Fixing Truck Makers Get Record E.U. Fine: $3.2 Billion

      She's not exactly overlooking EU companies either.

  4. DCFusor Silver badge

    Proving the negative - the non existence of anything - is impossible - there's always some corner someone can point out you didn't look in yet.

    No matter how it's phrased, spun, or justified, it's a sign of not wanting truth or fairness. It's a trick of tyrants.

    "Have you stopped beating your kids yet?".

    No matter what innocence is proved (dubious...) - there's always "but did you look at x, y z?" which can go on endlessly, if for no other reason than to perpetuate some .gov job, play with the news cycle, or whatever someone wants to spin.

    While yes, they are surely guilty - the normal processes should do fine, no?

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Alien

      Proving the negative - the non existence of anything - is impossible

      Not always.

      A positive DNA match with the suspect can even be someone the suspect doesn't know, a false positive.

      A negative DNA match exonerates the suspect*.

      DNA testing at crime scenes is a big advance. But not as reliable as fingerprints. It's not a 100% detailed test. OTH, identical twins don't actually have a 100% match, but a better match than what is normally regarded as positive at a crime scene. Yet amazingly they DO have different fingerprints because those will develop differently even with a perfect clone or identical twins.

      [* though they need to sample the DNA of the suspect widely if the person is a chimera, that is their own twin, then they have two sets of DNA! However a negative on both sets is conclusive.]

  5. codejunky Silver badge

    Erm

    Can we please ask the EU to do such a self assessment? And the EU is seriously affecting the market as it drags the world economy on its way down.

  6. TheGhostDeejay

    Erm

    @Codejunky.

    Could not agree with you more Off topic I know and I apologise in advance, but did the E.U. ever manage to get their auditors to sign off on the E.U. accounts?

    Cheers… Ishy

  7. Danny Boyd
    Facepalm

    What a great idea!

    Excellent idea but rather limited in scope at the moment. But it's a good start - big companies for now, small companies later, and soon private citizens will have to prove to the police they didn't do _something_ illegal _sometime_, or their _intended_ actions won't be illegal _somehow_.

    My, that Orwell guy thought he depicted a totalitarian society. Hah!

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: What a great idea!

      I think you forgot to take your tablets this morning, Danny. You know they make the voices go away.

    2. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge

      Re: What a great idea!

      It's all but legally proven that Google et al are abusing their power. I can see the slippery slope you're proposing, but this sort of anti-trust action isn't anything new.

  8. deadfamous
    FAIL

    A more appropriate question...

    Euro competition chief mulls forcing tech giants to prove their actions aren't harming THE PLANET

  9. JoMe

    Aerosmith...

    Am I the only one who had Aerosmith's "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" in their head when they looked at the photo...?

    Thought I was looking at Jeremy Renner....

  10. Zangetsu

    nope nope nope.

    you want to PROVE i did something wrong then go for it. but asking me to help you do you work in putting me out of business is not going to happen.

    fuck the EU. and someone get that fugly bitch a bag to put over his/her head.

    1. JoMe

      Say it with me...

      That, that dude looks like a lady

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