The European Future Fund, a proposed sovereign wealth fund, would be financed by member states to invest in “high-potential European companies.” The draft plan cites Europe’s dearth of tech giants compared to global competitors, naming Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon in the U.S., and Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent in China. (Politico)
Talking point: The EU and some individual European countries have been at the forefront of regulating tech companies by strengthening data privacy, antitrust and taxation. Measures like the General Data Protection Regulation; France’s three per cent digital tax on Big Tech companies; and fines for anticompetitive conduct are one way to place limits on foreign firms’ dominance in the region. Bolstering local companies through investments is another. The Future Fund will need support from all 28 member countries, however, and that’s not a given. Many members, including France and Germany, have supported the idea of loosening rules that limit state aid for R&D and competition laws for companies in the union. Others, including the Netherlands, have been reluctant to “pick winners” to compete with foreign rivals.