Norway's Jensen Calls for Crackdown on Global Tech Giants

(Bloomberg) -- Norway’s Finance Minister Siv Jensen called for broader international cooperation to end monopolies of global technology giants that can overcharge consumers.

While attending the International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings in Washington this past week, Jensen drew attention to the market power of the biggest tech companies and their fiscal footprints in countries where they operate, according to a statement from her office.

“The emergence we see of large, private monopolies and multinational corporations that are making huge profits without paying taxes is a problem we must take seriously,” the finance minister said.

European Union officials have been cracking down in recent years on efforts by big global companies to limit their European tax burdens. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager ordered Apple Inc. to pay back billions of euros to Ireland, and she backed a push by France to tax Internet firms more heavily.

Jensen said consumers are contributing to huge profits because competition in markets is often too weak.

“We will therefore not be able to reverse the trend until we have a more effective competition policy in place that limits the companies’ opportunity to charge too high prices,” Jensen said.

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