Alphabet GOOGL.O CEO Sundar Pichai has apologised to Europe’s industry chief Thierry Breton over a leaked internal document proposing tactics to counter the EU’s tough new rules on internet companies and lobby against the EU commissioner.
The call came after a Google internal document outlined a 60-day strategy to attack the European Union’s push for the new rules by getting U.S. allies to push back against Breton.
The incident underlines the intense lobbying by tech companies against the proposed EU rules, which could impede their businesses and force changes in how they operate.
Breton also warned Pichai about the excesses of the internet.
“The Internet cannot remain a ‘Wild West’: we need clear and transparent rules, a predictable environment and balanced rights and obligations,” he told Pichai.
Breton will announce new draft rules known as the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act together with European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Dec. 2.
The rules will set out a list of do’s and don’ts for gatekeepers – online companies with market power – forcing them to share data with rivals and regulators and not to promote their services and products unfairly.
EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager has levied fines totalling 8.25 billion euros ($9.7 billion) against Google in the past three years for abusing its market power to favour its shopping comparison service, its Android mobile operating system and its advertising business.
Breton told Pichai that he would increase the EU’s power to curb unfair behaviour by gatekeeping platforms, so that the Internet does not just benefit a handful of companies but also Europe’s small- and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs.