EU antitrust chief does not see breakup of tech giants: paper

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FILE PHOTO: EU Commission VP Vestager holds news conference in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: EU Commission VP Vestager holds news conference in Brussels

BERLIN (Reuters) - Splitting up large tech companies such as Google and Facebook will not be necessary, Europe's antitrust chief was quoted as saying on Sunday.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is due to announce new draft rules for the digital sector on Dec. 2 and will then have to reconcile her proposal with those from member countries and the European Parliament.

On Thursday, she said she would propose new powers for enforcers to tackle market failures in digital markets and to stop new ones from emerging.

However, Vestager told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagzeitung newspaper that she did not think breaking up the companies would be needed, although the European Union could use this step in an extreme case.

"It will never come to that," she told the newspaper in an interview. "Up until now we haven't had any cases that could lead to such a move."

EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has said the proposed rules include forcing tech giants to break up or sell some of their European operations if their market dominance is deemed to threaten the interests of customers and smaller rivals.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Angus MacSwan)