EU industry chief urges US to pass new tech rules, foster shared digital market

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton looks on before French President Emmanuel Macron's speech on Europe in the amphitheatre of the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, 25 April 2024. Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) -The European Union's industry chief has called on the United States to pass new technology regulations, in the hopes of fostering a cohesive digital marketplace across the Atlantic.

The EU is widely considered a leading authority in tech regulation, having passed sweeping pieces of legislation scrutinising the practices of major companies like Google and Meta, including the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act.

The U.S. has largely relied on existing legislation to regulate the tech giants' business practices.

For example, in March the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, alleging the iPhone maker had broken established monopoly rules. Apple rejected this claim, and has asked a judge to dismiss the suit.

"We need the same digital regulation. It would be fantastic to have a global digital market. Not only EU, not only U.S., but EU and U.S.," Thierry Breton said.

Amid a public outcry over the potential risks of rapidly-advancing AI systems, U.S. President Joe Biden last year rolled out a number of AI-focused executive orders, requiring developers to put their systems through safety tests, and introducing guidelines to help root out deepfake images.

"It’s extremely important we align now," Breton added. "We share the same values in the U.S. and in Europe, and it would be fantastic."

Breton was speaking at the annual "Viva Technology" conference in Paris, where leading tech executives and political figures such as ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former U.S. climate envoy John Kerry took to the stage this year.

(Reporting by Martin Coulter; editing by Philippa Fletcher, William Maclean)

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