February 12, 2020 / 12:10 PM / 14 days ago

Zuckerberg to meet EU Commissioners ahead of antitrust proposals

FILE PHOTO: Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg will meet the EU’s digital and industry chiefs on Feb. 17, EU officials said on Tuesday, days before the two Commissioners present proposals to rein in U.S. tech giants and Chinese rivals.

In addition to European Competition and Digital Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, Zuckerberg will also meet justice chief Vera Jourova, the officials said.

Facebook said: “Next week, Mark Zuckerberg will travel to Europe to participate in the Munich Security Conference, and meet with European decision-makers in Brussels to discuss a framework for new rules and regulation for the internet.”

Vestager and Breton are set to announce proposals on Feb. 19 to create a single European data market aimed at challenging the dominance of U.S. tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, according to a European Commission proposal seen by Reuters.

They will also propose rules to govern the use of artificial intelligence. The Commission is expected to seek feedback before finalizing the rules.

Facebook is already in Vestager’s crosshairs over its use of data collected by the company over the years from classified ads players and its right to use their data for any purpose including to launch competing products, according to a questionnaire seen by Reuters.

Zuckerberg’s last public appearance in Brussels was in 2018 when he met European Parliament leaders to answer questions on how the data of 2.7 million European users was improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by David Evans

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