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EU digi bloke: Come ON Europe, you're not TRYING ENOUGH

Ansip worried about slow digital uptake, online platforms' gatekeeper status

The EU’s digi-veep says European industry has been too slow in making use of mobile tech, social media, cloud and Big Data.

Speaking at the Bruegel Institute in Monday, Andrus Ansip said that less than two per cent of EU companies make full use of such technologies and “about 40 per cent do not use any at all.”

Some of that reluctance, however, may be down to how online platforms, including social media, e-commerce and search engines, hold a massive amount of market power.

“There are concerns from many quarters about their control of data, market strength and bargaining power, as well as various aspects related to access,” said Ansip.

“Their role has become pivotal – and not only as an online gatekeeper. There is only a very limited part of the economy that will not depend on them in the near future,” he added.

A public consultation on online platforms is due in a matter of weeks and Ansip said the Commission would seek input from all sectors before taking steps to regulate them.

“First, we need to know and understand clearly whether there really are problems – and if yes, how to deal with them," he said, adding: "We will also look into issues such as access and openness.”

Online platforms are just one of the areas Ansip has pledged to tackle as part of his digital single market (DSM) strategy. ®

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