Last year, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation officially went into effect after a two-year transition period. The regulations make up some of the strictest data laws in the world. So, it’s no surprise that the EU has placed tech companies under increased scrutiny.
Tech giants like Google have received multiple fines from the EU for antitrust behavior. Now that seems to be rubbing President Trump the wrong way, but not because he doesn’t think the fines shouldn’t be happening.
In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Trump said:
“Every week you see them going after Facebook and Apple and all of these companies … The European Union is suing them all of the time. Well, we should be doing this. They’re our companies. So, [the EU is] actually attacking our companies, but we should be doing what they’re doing. They think there’s a monopoly, but I’m not sure that they think that. They just think this is easy money.”
Trump calls for the federal govt to sue tech & social media companies: "The EU is suing them all the time. We're going to maybe look at it differently. We have a great AG, we're going to be looking at it differently… [the EU] gets all this money. Well, we should be doing that." pic.twitter.com/SkCahTkeLM
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 10, 2019
When it comes to going after big tech, the United States has typically failed. That doesn’t necessarily mean the European Union shouldn’t have the power to fine tech companies either.
Even if companies like Google and Apple began in the United States, they have headquarters around the world. Beyond that, tech companies have a global impact. For example, Google’s products aren’t just limited to users in the U.S.
It’s unclear if President Trump actually means to go after tech companies like the EU. However, the GDPR has served as inspiration for state-level policies, such as California’s Consumer Privacy Act.