Breaking Up Companies Is ‘Doable in Europe,’ Vestager Says

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Breaking up powerful companies is “doable” in the European Union even though regulators have never seen the need for such a drastic step, the bloc’s competition commissioner told lawmakers.

Margrethe Vestager, whose roles also include digital policy, said officials “have not had competition cases that would lead us to think that this is the only remedy that would be the right thing to do,” she told a European Parliament committee meeting on Tuesday.

It isn’t always clear how a break-up would work and it would likely be tied “up in court for a very very long time,” she said, urging the need for trying other routes in new legislation she’s planning that might push companies to make changes to fix anti-competitive behavior.

Her comments follow frequent calls from activists, politicians and competitors on both sides of the Atlantic for regulators to consider the need to break up tech giants such as Google -- if other remedies fail to ensure competition.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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