November 16, 2021
Government bowing to big tech companies ‘unacceptable’ – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the decision by Minister of State Robert Troy to grant confidentiality to big tech companies before meeting to discuss two upcoming pieces of EU law, further underlines that this government is in the pocket of big business.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“That big tech companies would seek confidentiality for a meeting with a Government Minister, to discuss legislation which will dramatically affect the way they do business, is unpalatable but unsurprising. However, that an Irish Government Minister would agree to the request for confidentiality is unacceptable.

“It was further reported in the Business Post that some of the companies sought, through the Industrial Development Agency (IDA), that no detailed notes be taken at the meeting, for fear of what would be uncovered through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

“The online ’roundtable’ discussion was in relation to the European Commission’s Digital Markets Act, which seeks to rein in big tech companies who have created monopolies in the digital space, and the Digital Services Act, which proposes to create a safer digital space for users.

“Whether Minister of State Troy, or the government want to admit it, this was clearly a lobbying exercise from big tech.

“Minister Troy and the government must state whether after this confidential meeting they are going to do the bidding of big tech on the European stage and try and water down these two pieces of regulatory legislation.

“Some of these tech companies have been allowed to become far too big and create crippling monopolies in the digital space.

“It is high time stringent European regulation was introduced in this regard, and instead of cosying up to big tech, the Irish government should be helping shape this legislation for the better.”

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