Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, told the German weekly Welt am Sonntag: Technology companies’ services may be banned from the European market if they do not adhere to EU rules.
The comments came as the European Commission is finalizing the rules for internet companies.
Breton will announce new draft rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) with European Competition Commissioner (Margrethe Vestager) on December 2.
The rules set out a list of do’s and don’ts for online companies with market power, forcing those companies to share data with competitors and regulators and not unfairly promote services and products.
The new draft rules come as critics of US tech giants, including companies and industry bodies, are questioning European Union rulings against Google.
Critics of US tech giants say the new rules have not curbed Google’s alleged anti-competitive behavior.
Some want law enforcement in the European Union to go beyond simply ordering companies to stop such practices.
The draft rules allow the European Union to ban the services of technology companies from the 27-nation bloc as an extreme option.
European Union antitrust regulators do not currently have the power to impose such a ban until the draft rules are approved.
Bretton told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag: Strict rules must be enforceable, and for this we need appropriate tools, such as imposing fines, excluding companies from the single market, and insisting on dismantling those companies if they want to continue operating within the single market.
He added that these penalties are applied against companies that do not respect European Union rules, and that the most severe measures will only be used in exceptional circumstances.
In a sign of just how wary tech companies are about the new regulation, last month Google launched a 60-day strategy to urge US allies to fight back against the European Union’s digital president.