French antitrust chief “surprised” to be dismissed from office

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The head of the French antitrust law said she was “surprised” by the decision of President Emmanuel Macron not to renew his mission during a generalized merger of programs and a review of several competitions against American giants of the high technology. Expressed his “disappointment”.

Isabelle de Silva won praise after inflicting two penalties on Google. € 720million announced last week that he would step down on October 13 after learning that the French president would not appoint a second five-year term. The Elysee has not commented on this decision.

“Until a few days ago, I wasn’t absolutely sure, but I was sure it would be updated,” she told the Financial Times. “So it was a bit surprising.”

“I wanted to continue, but obviously I respect this decision and I want new people to continue the work I started. Me and my team have to agree. Is a personal disappointment. “

The move comes six months before Macron’s second presidential election and when regulators are considering major national mergers. One is the partnership between the largest broadcaster in France, TF1, and the small group M6. Tf1 is owned by Martin Bouygues of Construction Billionaire, and the 8pm newspaper is the most viewed by around 6 million viewers on average.

The new group will dominate around 70% of the French television advertising market, but the government has indicated that it is considering a merger. actively..

Other major mergers under consideration include the merger of Veolia and Suez, water and energy distribution companies, Editis, a book publisher owned by Vivendi in Vincent Borole, and Hachette, managed by Lagardère. to augment.

De Silva said authorities would continue to examine the TF1-M6 case in detail and “serious methodology”. In other words, “changing the president (of the competition authorities) does not change the outcome”.

“In such an important and difficult event, I felt it was not always a good idea to become a captain,” she added.

De Silva, a Franco-American lawyer who has spent his entire career in the French civil service, was appointed by then-President François Hollande in 2015. Apple and Facebook. In addition to scrutinizing Google, she managed to engage with the search giant to make changes to its advertising activity.

Competition authorities are still working on the Apple and Facebook investigations, and DeSilva has also worked closely with the European Commission’s antitrust watchdog.

More recently, she established a relationship with Lina Khan, head of the Biden administration’s new antitrust law, and he is also pushing for more technical regulation. She made her voice heard in the discussion of a new bill in Brussels aimed at restricting the power of big tech companies.

For regulators to effectively oversee large tech companies, such international cooperation “must be maintained and built.” “To work on these digital platforms, we really have to come together and work as a team,” she said.

The French antitrust chief “surprised” to be dismissed from his functions Source link The French antitrust chief “surprised” to be dismissed from his functions

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