Europe's Real Opportunity in the Digital Economy

Robert D. Atkinson March 10, 2016
March 10, 2016

The European Commission has embarked on an ambitious journey to create a seamless 28-country market for digital goods and services in Europe. European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip's visit to Boston this week highlights that what Europe does with this market is likely to have considerable impact on U.S. technology companies, writes Rob Atkinson in the Huffington Post. There is both promise and peril in what the Commission and Europe more broadly are trying to accomplish. European policymakers have sought to bring U.S. tech companies down a peg, thinking that will make European companies more competitive. At the same time, the Commission is proposing a number of changes that could lead to increased innovation that will help Europe thrive in the digital economy while at the same time increasing opportunities for U.S. technology companies to sell more to Europe. Europe has the potential to leapfrog America in the next digital economy, but only if it embraces the digital carrot and not the digital stick. And Europe putting down that digital stick could end up being a boon for U.S. tech companies, too.