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Google seeks flexibility in new digital rules

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Google urged the European Commission yesterday to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to the tech industry in its forthcoming Digital Services Act. (Yui Mok/PA)

Google urged the European Commission yesterday to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to the tech industry in its forthcoming Digital Services Act. (Yui Mok/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Google urged the European Commission yesterday to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to the tech industry in its forthcoming Digital Services Act. (Yui Mok/PA)

Google urged the European Commission yesterday to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to the tech industry in its forthcoming Digital Services Act.

The EU executive is drawing up new rules for data-sharing and the digital marketplace as well as boosting competition after concluding that multiple antitrust actions against Google have been ineffectual.

The Commission's public consultation period ends on September 8. In a blog post and 135-page submission, Google encouraged European legislators to provide greater clarity on rules and responsibilities of online platforms.

It said while it was important to identify illegal content, mandating the use of technology to do that could 'overblock' Europeans' speech and access to information.

The Commission should update its rules with a graduated scheme of exemptions from liability, including for search engines or cloud services, Google said.

Hosting services such as Google's YouTube video channel should have to act expeditiously to remove or disable access to illegal content, Google said, but expressed concern that companies may be forced to prioritise speed over careful decision-making.

The company also urged legislators not to impose what it termed undue costs for business in pandemic.

Reuters