EMEA Daily: Big Tech receives support from Washington, Europe

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In today’s major news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Big Tech received a surprise gift from the Biden White House. Meanwhile, European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said the metaverse is here and regulations are needed.

Additionally, the UK Treasury is continuing with plans to require regulators to consider the competitiveness of the financial sector when drafting rules; France took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and prioritized a digital transformation, and account-to-account payment company GoCardless raised $312 million in a funding round.

Big Tech receives support from Washington, Europe

The country’s big tech companies have a powerful ally to protect their dominance in Europe: the Biden administration. The White House has stepped in to mitigate the impact of proposed European Union regulations that target the country’s giant tech companies.

The Biden administration has lobbied Andreas Schwab, a member of the European Parliament (EP) representing Germany, a supporter of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The measure would prevent companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft from ranking their services above their competitors.

EU’s Vestager plans metaverse analysis ahead of regulatory framework

European Union regulators want to understand how the Metaverse works before formulating a regulatory framework, Reuters reported on Tuesday (February 8th).

“The metaverse is already here,” European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager told an event organized by German newspaper publishers. “So, of course, we are starting to analyze what the role of a regulator will be, what is the role of our legislature.”

UK stresses growth in financial regulatory review

Britain’s Department of Finance is pushing ahead with plans to require regulators to consider the global competitiveness of the financial sector when drafting rules, even after some in the country said the policy made regulators look like “cheerleaders” of finance, according to a Reuters report on Tuesday (Feb. 8).

As part of the restructuring, regulators would rethink existing rules and show the costs and benefits of proposed rules, changes that critics say could undermine regulators’ independence.

EU seeks to bolster ‘digital sovereignty’, unfazed by meta-threat of withdrawal from region

On January 1, France took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and made digital transformation in the region one of the axes of its six-month mandate.

This follows remarks by the French Finance Minister and German Economy Minister on Monday February 7, who dismissed Meta’s recent threat to shut down its social media platforms – Facebook and Instagram – in Europe due to strict privacy rules. data confidentiality.

US streaming giants squeezed by European regulations

“Call My Agent,” Netflix’s blockbuster about a Parisian talent agency, has been generating spinoffs with disconcerting speed, the Financial Times has reported.

French regulations allow producers to retain more rights, allowing them to sell spin-offs to rival broadcasters and services. This puts global streaming platforms at a disadvantage.

TripActions Acquires Travel Management Company Comtravo to Expand European Reach

Travel, corporate card and expense management platform TripActions Group on Tuesday (February 8) acquired travel management company Comtravo, which serves Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia, to expand its presence in the UK and Europe.

Comtravo offers domestic rail services, low-cost carriers and ancillary air travel services that will complement TripActions’ offerings and double the number of agents available to help travelers across Europe.

EU Council could push for DMA and DSA approval before summer

Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, also holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the next six months. It is likely that at this time he will support the ratification of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA).

The DMA and DSA are the EU’s proposals to regulate online platforms by introducing new rules to limit the practices Big Tech companies can engage in and hold them accountable for illegal and harmful content posted on their platforms. .

GoCardless valued at $2.1 billion after Series G

Account-to-account payment company GoCardless raised $312 million in a Series G funding round, taking its valuation to $2.1 billion.

The company announced its status as the latest tech unicorn in Europe and the UK in a press release on Tuesday, February 8. It plans to use the cash to “accelerate its growing footprint in the open banking space through expansion in both product and geography.”

French lender Silvr raises $148m in Series A

French fintech Silvr has raised $148m (€130m) in its Series A funding round. The Paris-based company says the round, a mix of $20.5m (18 million euros) in equity and 127.8 million dollars (112 million euros) in debt, was one of the largest financing transactions in the revenue-based financing (RBF) sector in continental Europe . Europe.

The company said the money would be used to hire 100 employees. Silvr provides financing for online businesses that cannot obtain bank loans. The RBF model bases loan repayment plans on the future earnings of the borrower.

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