(Bloomberg) -- Margrethe Vestager, the European Union antitrust chief, warned that her team already has the Metaverse and AI in its crosshairs in a bid to head off potential competition abuses.
Officials have already started to look into how language AI models such as ChatGPT are changing the equation, and “what healthy competition would look like in the Metaverse,” European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said at a Keystone conference in Brussels on Thursday.
“We need to anticipate and plan for change, because it is an obvious fact that our enforcement, our legislative processes, they will always be slower than market developments,” Vestager said. “Sometimes we should allow ourselves to be bold, in order to be sure that we are up to the challenge.”
As the EU’s competition and digital tech czar, Vestager has long taken pot shots at Silicon Valley firms. She’s fined the likes of Google billions of euros and has overseen a raft of new legislation aimed at heading off antitrust abuses by Big Tech before it can take hold. Homing in on potential problems in the Metaverse could prepare the groundwork for future cases by her successor when her mandate ends in 2024.
As EU Vets Microsoft Deal, Vestager Warns Watchdogs Not to Race
Meanwhile Vestager repeated her message that global competition authorities should continue to work together and learn from each other — even if they end up with different conclusions.
Her comments come as the dates for rulings by the UK watchdog and EU on Microsoft Corp.’s $69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard Inc. moved to within a day of each other after Vestager’s team extended their deadline by two weeks to April 25 — the day before Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority.
“It can be expected that sometimes we will end up with different results, for example, on whether to accept commitments or we will end up with different outcomes,” she said.
“What is important is of course that we cooperate and we cooperate as authorities and we exchange and that we learn from one another, because that we can do no matter the differences between us and not try to offer too many sort of definitive preclusions,” she added.
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