The U.S. and Europe Can’t Each Go It Alone Against Big Tech

The U.S. and Europe Can’t Each Go It Alone Against Big Tech
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, right, is greeted by European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova prior to a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels, Feb. 17, 2020 (AP photo by Francisco Seco).

Editor’s Note: Guest columnists Kate Jones and Emily Taylor are filling in for Candace Rondeaux this week.

It’s been an astounding start to 2021 for Big Tech. Not only does the power of companies like Twitter and Facebook now extend to denying a platform to a sitting American president, but the market value of the top 30 U.S. tech companies is now the same as the annual GDP of Europe’s five largest economies. It all raises a familiar question: How long will tech giants be allowed to grow like this, seemingly unchecked and unaccountable?

Fortunately, moves are already afoot on both sides of the Atlantic to rein them in through regulation. The European Commission published its draft Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act in December, for debate and discussion in the coming months. The British government is expected to publish its Online Safety Bill this year, following what is known as its online harms consultation. In the United States, the Biden administration is taking office amid a slew of calls to regulate Big Tech from all points of the political spectrum. Fundamentally, there’s a shared concern at the specter of unelected, unaccountable individuals like Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and the advertising platforms they have built having the power to control public debate.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.