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U.S. Competition Policy Is Aligning With Europe, and Deeper Cooperation Could Follow

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The European Union’s top antitrust regulator foresees greater alignment with the U.S. on competition enforcement, particularly in the tech sector, amid a broader policy reorientation under the Biden administration.

EU Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, the bloc’s competition commissioner, said she expects “much more intense work when it comes to technology and the digitized market” between her team and Washington.

President Biden’s policy statements and appointments, plus legislative proposals from Congress, indicate the U.S. is moving closer to positions long held in the EU regarding internet giants, pharmaceutical firms and other industries with diminishing competition.

As the world’s two most powerful antitrust regulators, the U.S. and the EU can shape global competition discourse and rein in many of the world’s largest companies, so greater cooperation could have significant impact.

For supporters of aggressive enforcement, “it will certainly be a marriage made in heaven,” said Jeffrey Jacobovitz, a Washington-based antitrust lawyer with Arnall Golden Gregory LLP. “I think they’ll work hand in hand. Increased coordination makes enforcement stronger.”

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