NEWSSep 28, 2018

The EU Has Made Successive Moves, and The US-EU Relationship is Going to Burst

European Commission Antitrust Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, announced on September 19 that they are investigating whether e-commerce giant Amazon has abused data provided by third-party sellers to ensure that the products on their platforms are more competitive than those on the merchants’ own platforms.

“The investigation is still in its infancy,” said Vestager, “We are not yet officially setting up a case. We are working hard to ensure a full understanding of the situation.” Industry analysts say that if Amazon was eventually convicted, it would face a fine of 10% of global turnover. According to rough calculations of its global sales last year, the fine may be as high as 17.8 billion US dollars (about 122 billion yuan).

Recently, the EU has repeatedly launched revolt on US technology giants. The development of American companies in Europe seems to be facing a difficult situation. This preliminary investigation of whether Amazon has achieved an unfair competitive advantage is the latest case of the EU's enhanced review of US technology giants. Earlier in July, Google was suspected of abusing its market dominance in the Android system, taking "illegal restrictions" to strengthen its dominant position in search engines, in violation of the EU's monopoly rules. In response, Vestager imposed a record fine of 4.34 billion euros (about $5.06 billion) for Google.

On the same day that the European Union announced its investigation of Amazon, Facebook was also exposed to EU sanctions because it did not meet EU consumer regulations. According to relevant news reports, the European Commission has set limits on Facebook, requiring it to comply with EU consumer regulations by the end of 2018, or face sanctions.

In addition to targeting the US technology companies, the EU also ignored Mr Trump's threat, and gave great support to Iranian oil exports. According to Russia’s September 25 news, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, met with officials from the United Kingdom, France, China, Germany and Russia and issued a statement saying that the EU countries will maintain their commitment to the Iranian nuclear agreement. Moreover, she said they are committed to establishing special payment channels to help Iran's import and export business, including oil exports. Earlier in May, Trump unilaterally announced a comprehensive agreement on the US exit from the Iranian nuclear issue in the White House, and it will restart sanctions against Iran. The United States requires all countries in the world to stop importing Iranian oil by November 4, and it said that if any country does not comply, the United States would impose sanctions on it. This action by the United States has been widely condemned by the international community.

Since 2018, the United States has clashed with many countries because of trade issues. The EU decided to part with the United States because the United States did not exempt the EU's automobile import tax after receiving the EU’s commitment to import US natural gas and corn. In order to counter the US economic squeeze and even shake the dominance of the US dollar, the European Commission has indicated that it will take various measures to enhance the international status of the euro. Among them, Germany, France and other member states have called for the establishment of a European independent financial payment system, no longer relying on the dollar-dominated payment system. Many member states have recently indicated that they are already working on a payment system. In addition, Russia's "de-dollarization" also means what it says. From March to May of this year, Russia’s holdings of US debts fell from US$96.1 billion to US$14.9 billion, a drop of 84%. Subsequently, Russia’s plan to “de-dollarization in oil trading” is also being implemented. As a superpower, the United States seems to have become the target of public criticism. It is wondering that if Trump’s attitude will change in the future.

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