At issue is a delicate political balance in the EU over tech policy between countries, including the U.K. and Nordic and Baltic countries, that favor lighter regulation and others, led by France and Germany, that argue the rise of big global technology firms necessitates new rules to help level the playing field.
While most big U.S. tech firms have declined to comment on the vote, some executives acknowledge privately that if the U.K. were to remove or lighten some EU restrictions on, for instance, the use of personal data or corporate tax rules, it might help their U.K. operations.
In the case of Brexit, I would be worried about the direction of European technology policy, said Dan Rogers, co-founder of Peakon, a Danish startup that offers employee-analytics platforms to businesses.
Without the U.K., it will be very complex I think.
Officials in France and Germany, for their part, say that regulatory proposals they have made to rein in big Internet platforms are aimed at giving smaller businesses more of a shot to compete against a new class of gatekeepers.
The body s executive arm has alleged that Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., struck sweetheart deals respectively with Ireland and Luxembourg that violate so-called state-aid rules—allegations the countries and the companies deny.