Whatever grievances US President Donald Trump may or may not have with the dominant tech giants and how they shape or attempt to shape the political discourse in his own country – he will still seek to defend them and their interests abroad.
Lately, the most prominent feature of this has been the Trump administration’s “trade war on China” – but a possible similar confrontation with the European Union (EU) is brewing up – at least according to reports.
One of them comes from Reuters who quote Trump’s straight and matter-of-factly language to describe EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, as being one “hating the United States.”
That’s bad enough – but Trump adds, according to the Reuters report, that the EU official does so “perhaps worse than any person he’s ever met.”
Now that sounds really bad.
As quoted by Reuters, Trump continued: “She’s suing all our companies. We should be suing Google and Facebook, and all that, which perhaps we will. They’re suing Apple for billions of dollars. They’re suing everybody.”
Additionally, according to Reuters, Trump “reprized” his accusation of China to apply it to the EU – equalized with “Europe” in the Reuters report – which is an entire continent, and a much larger than the EU itself.
According to the article, Trump suggested EU’s behavior was “making it almost impossible to do two-way business.”
And once again, the battleground looks to be “the future” – or indeed, the present – namely, the technology industry.
The agency then goes through the “Trophy Room” of EU’s fines announced against Big US Tech companies – that ended up making little to no difference in defending or restoring Europeans’ compromised privacy and digital rights – but chipping off billions of Google’s and Facebook’s annual revenues as what ended up amounting up to just pocket money that with no incentive to change their behavior.
Thus, Google alone is cited as giving three fines worth more than $9 billion recently.
Finally, the Reuters report admits that Trump is also aware that at home, the tech giants might be abusing their market dominance to stifle contrarian political voices.
The way Reuters frames Trump’s comment is – “they should be sued.” This comes on top of the agency’s sources saying in June that the US government was about to engage in “an unprecedented, wide-ranging probe of some of the world’s largest companies.”
Those would include Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google – for “misusing their massive market power.”