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EU lawmaker says U.S. tech giants should be regulated where they’re based

U.S. tech giants such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are expected to be regulated by the EU country where they are based under proposed EU rules, a top lawmaker said on Tuesday, rolling back the efforts of some countries to broaden the scope of the planned act.

The country of origin principle is spelled out in draft rules by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, known as the Digital Services Act, which requires US tech giants to do more to monitor the internet for illegal and harmful content. The principle means that Ireland is responsible for regulating Apple, Google’s Alphabet unit and Facebook as they have their European headquarters there while Amazon is subject to Luxembourg supervision.

France and a few other countries are seeking to broaden the scope, fearing that enforcement concentrated in just two countries will weaken the rules and also slow down decision-making. Lawmaker Christel Schaldemose, who heads the DSA through the European Parliament and has the power to amend or add other provisions, supports the basic proposal for the law.

It makes sense to keep the country of origin principle, ”she told Reuters in an interview. Schaldemose, however, wants to go further than Vestager by including a ban on certain targeted advertising in the DSA.

Targeted ads based on your behavior on Facebook, for example, should not be allowed. Ads based on your having visited websites to buy shoes and things like that, regular business ads should probably be allowed, ”she said.

Schaldemoe said she hopes to finalize her plan with other lawmakers within the next two months so that she can strike a deal with EU countries next year before the proposed rules can be implemented.

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