(Bloomberg) -- If it’s up to the Dutch government, it will be harder for big technology companies like Apple Inc. and Google to acquire small competing startups.
Mona Keijzer, the Dutch state secretary for economic affairs and climate policy, has proposed implementing three measures on a European level to prevent large technology companies from becoming too dominant, she wrote in a letter to the national parliament on Saturday. The state secretary said she is already in talks with other member states on the policy.
“It is desirable to be able to intervene earlier and in a more targeted manner," she wrote.
The current merger hurdles don’t prevent large platforms from “frequently” taking over -- still small -- future rivals, like when Facebook bought WhatsApp, she said. Keijzer wants to implement new criteria for regulators when reviewing a takeover, like taking into account the transaction price, apart from revenue.
In addition, the state secretary wants to weigh data in judging antitrust cases and give regulators the power to intervene upfront when a platform threatens to achieve a dominant position where consumers and companies have no alternative but to use their services.
Although digital platforms offer comfort and economic opportunities to society, Keijzer said she is worried about their lasting dominance and the barriers to market access for smaller and newer companies. “This is the case, for example, with app stores where providers are dependent on Apple and Google.”
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