By Mike Murphy
European regulators are reportedly preparing a “hit list” of up to 20 big tech companies that would be subject to strict new rules.
The Financial Times reported Sunday that the list of large internet companies — which likely would include Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -0.28% , Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -0.34% and Facebook Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +2.19% — would be forced to share data with rivals and be more transparent in their data collection under the EU proposal. The companies on the “hit list” would also be subject to tighter regulations than smaller internet companies.
European regulators are concerned that the biggest internet companies’ hold on market share is too great, stifling competition.
The move is part of a European effort to force tech companies to change their ways without resorting to costly and drawn-out investigations or proving antitrust, the FT said.
The list will be heavily skewed toward U.S. companies, the FT reported, and regulators could reportedly force the breakup of some companies, in extreme circumstances.
The exact number of companies included and the specific criteria for inclusion on the list are still being hammered out, the FT said.
A number of big-name tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL -0.37% /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -0.18% , are under antitrust scrutiny in the U.S. as well. Last week, a House subcommittee said Congress should consider breaking up some companies , and limiting their acquisitions.