Session Summary: Big-Tech & European Regulations

Olivier Guersent, Director-General of Directorate General for Competition, European Commission

Anu Bradford, Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization, Columbia Law School, Columbia University, New York City

Hendrik Bourgeois, Head of Government Affairs Europe and Russia, Apple, Brussels

Led by: Anett Numa, Digital Transformation Advisor, e-Estonia, Tallinn


This panel focused mainly on the global power map and questioned how we could achieve the great EU soul. All panellists also discussed regulation and the role of the European Union. 

Regulation of big technology companies such as Apple, Facebook, Spotify, or Amazon is still a big question. In recent years we could see an effort of European PMs to regulate the companies mentioned above.  

All speakers agreed that digital technology offers opportunities but, on the other hand, risks. When discussing the risks, the data leak is one of the most dangerous digital technology threats. The panellist also concerned about the role of European countries and especially the European Union in the regulation of big tech companies.  

From the EU perspective, there is a significant demand for better control of digital space. From Mr Bourgeois's point of view, there is an underlying political question. It is an ambition to set the global standard of regulation that other countries should follow?  

Artificial intelligence was also the subject of debate. The panellist agreed, there is a right time to discuss the regulation of AI, but on the other hand, we need to be very careful how the implementation will look like to avoid unwanted consequences. 

When it comes to GDPR it is better to keep people's data secure. Olivier Guersent pointed out that with GDPR, we set up the world new standard of keeping our data secure. Thanks to GDPR, EU citizens have a stronger right to decide what the big technology companies can do with their information and personal data. It has also inspired other countries in the world to implement very similar regulation.