Margrethe Vestager, competition commissioner of the European Commission with Thierry Breton, industry commissioner of the European Union, on Tuesday. Photo by Bloomberg

Europe’s Tough New Rules of Digital Road: The Information’s Tech Briefing

Photo: Margrethe Vestager, competition commissioner of the European Commission with Thierry Breton, industry commissioner of the European Union, on Tuesday. Photo by Bloomberg

It may take a couple of years for the ramifications of Europe’s proposed new digital regulations to crystallize. But on first look, it appears the regulations could lead to far-reaching changes for U.S. tech giants. And given the U.S. antitrust actions underway, it’s quite possible the companies will make changes on a global basis, not just in Europe.

Based on our coverage, and on the European Commission’s own cheat sheet, it’s conceivable Apple will have to allow other companies’ texting apps—such as Facebook’s Messenger—to be a default option on iPhones, instead of just iMessage. Google might not be able to jam all its apps onto Android devices anymore. It also seems likely Google will have to stop favoring its own services, such as Google Shopping, in search results. The net result of such changes would be to increase competition for big tech’s own services, possibly eroding some of their dominance.

Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
OpenAI's Greg Brockman (left) and Google's Demis Hassabis (right). Photos by Getty.
AI Agenda google ai
OpenAI Hustles to Beat Google to Launch ‘Multimodal’ LLM
As fall approaches, Google and OpenAI are locked in a good ol’ fashioned software race, aiming to launch the next generation of large-language models: multimodal.
From left, a Google TPU, Broadcom CEO Hock Tan and Google Cloud chief Thomas Kurian. Photos via Getty, Google and YouTube.
Exclusive google semiconductors
To Reduce AI Costs, Google Wants to Ditch Broadcom as Its TPU Server Chip Supplier
Google executives have extensively discussed dropping Broadcom as a supplier of artificial intelligence chips as early as 2027, according to a person with direct knowledge of the effort.
Org Charts enterprise Finance
The People in Power at Tech Private Equity Juggernaut Thoma Bravo
Orlando Bravo may be the face of Thoma Bravo, but he’s not the only one calling the shots. The hard-charging, helicopter-riding managing partner has become the most recognizable person at the software-focused private equity firm.
Gigafund co-founders Luke Nosek and Stephen Oskoui. Art by Clark Miller; Oskoui photo courtesy Gigafund.
The Big Read space entertainment
The Elon Musk Investors With Dreams of a New Social Order
In February 2021, a Mormon film producer named Jeffrey Harmon returned home to Provo, Utah, raving about an exclusive gathering he’d just attended in Austin, Tex.
Art by Clark Miller.
space Twitter
The Trouble With Walter: In His Elon Musk Tome, the Writer Shows Us the Perils of Access Journalism
Walter Isaacson is the exotic bird of American letters, a charming and convivial bon vivant and raconteur, the life of many a dinner party, a studious biographer and a generous mentor.
Flexport founder Ryan Petersen. Photos via Getty and Flexport.
Can Ryan Petersen Fix Flexport?
Ryan Petersen was getting antsy. This March, Petersen had handed over the CEO job at Flexport—the logistics company he’d founded a decade earlier, which had ballooned to an $8 billion valuation in 2022—to veteran Amazon executive Dave Clark.