Margrethe Vestager, the EU lawamker that has led multiple antitrust actions against big U.S. tech companies and been accused of "hating" America by President Donald Trump, will keep her role as Competition Commissioner in the executive's new cabinet.
Vestager, the former Danish lawmaker who forced Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Report to pay more than $13 billion in back taxes after an agreement with Ireland was deemed unlawful, led antitrust actions against Facebook (FB) - Get Report and Google (GOOGL) - Get Report , and is currently taking a "very close look" at Amazon Inc.'s (AMZN) - Get Report European business practices, will stay on as Commissioner under new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who assumes office on November 1, the EU said Tuesday.
"The European Commission's focus on digital giants is set to sharpen further should Margrethe Vestager's unprecedented nomination for a second term as Competition Commissioner be formalised," said Alexi Dimitriou, competition counsel at law firm Ashurst. "With her remit also expanding to coordinating wider digital policies, digital business should expect regulatory intensity to continue."
Vestager's most recent thorn in the side of U.S. tech came earlier this spring, when her office opened an anti-trust probe into the chipmaker Broadcom (AVGO) - Get Report , accusing it of preventing rivals from competing in TV and modem chip markets. The Commission also said it would impose interim measures on Broadcom during the investigation, but those provisions would not preclude the continued sale of the company's products.
Last year, Vestager fined Alphabet, the parent of internet search giant Google, a record $5 billion following a lengthy investigation into contracts that tie makers of android-operated smartphones to the exclusive sale of its apps.
"She hates the United States perhaps worse than any person I've ever met," Trump told Fox Business earlier this spring. "What she does to our country. She's suing all our companies. We should be suing Google and Facebook . . . They're suing Apple. They're suing everybody."