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February 19, 2020

EU unveils proposals to rein in Big Tech / Ex-Twitter employee in pre-trial meeting / Atos posts earnings

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Wednesday morning briefing. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

EU unveils proposals to rein in Big Tech

The European Union today unveils a range of policy proposals to keep Big Tech in check.

The package includes tougher rules for digital services, a single European data market and a white paper on artificial intelligence (AI).

Over the last few days, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg conceded that the social media giant would need to pay more tax in Europe ahead of meetings with EU lawmakers.

European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, who has been a thorn in the sides of large US tech companies during her time as European Commissioner for Competition, discusses the new rules at a Centre for European Policy Studies address in Brussels this afternoon.

Pre-trial meeting for ex-Twitter employee accused of spying

Lawyers for a former Twitter employee charged with spying for Saudi Arabia meet with a US District Court judge today for a pre-trial meeting.

It is alleged that Ahmad Abouammo, a US citizen, used his position at Twitter to spy on thousands of accounts for Saudi agents.

Charges unsealed in November in San Francisco showed that Saudi citizens Ali Alzabarah and Ahmed Almutairi were also accused of spying. Both are believed to currently be in Saudi Arabia.

Abouammo, who is also charged with falsifying documents and making false statements to the FBI, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in November.

Atos posts earnings

French consultancy and IT services firm Atos is due to post its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings for 2019.

Atos, which manages part of the UK Government’s Department for Work and Pensions’ benefit portfolio, reported revenue of € 2.77bn last quarter.

Organic revenue growth increased by 1.8% over the period.

Its big data and cybersecurity divisions showed the largest areas of organic growth compared to the same period year prior.

Tuesday’s Highlights


Defining the concept of AI and how it will change business

Cybersecurity is still an afterthought for two thirds of businesses: EY

Three in four businesses think they’ll lose revenue without digital transformation