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U.S. agencies, European Commission launch new effort to boost tech competition



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Diane Bartz and Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. government agencies said on Tuesday that they and the European Commission have launched a dialogue focused on competition policy and enforcement in the technology sector.

The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced the latest initiative, after Washington and Brussels in September launched the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council.

The council aims to deepen transatlantic cooperation, strengthen semiconductor supply chains, curb China’s non-market trade practices and take a more unified approach to regulating big, global technology firms.

With the United States and Europe trying to restrain the growing power of American tech giants such as Alphabet (NASDAQ:)’s Google, Facebook (NASDAQ:), Apple (NASDAQ:) and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:), such cooperation has become vital to regulators on both sides of the Atlantic who want to make it harder for the U.S. tech industry to fight new rules.

The latest effort, called the EU-U.S. Joint Technology Competition Policy Dialogue, was launched on Tuesday by Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager of the European Commission, Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of DOJ’s Antitrust Division.

It will “include sharing insights and experience with an aim towards coordinating as much as possible on policy and enforcement,” the statement said.

The joint dialogue will include high-level meetings as well as regular staff discussion focused on the shared competition enforcement and policy issues arising in technology markets, the statement said.

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