clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mark Zuckerberg Is On Board With the EU's Digital Single Market Plan

Zuckerberg says a Digital Single Market would be "very good" for Facebook.


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he’s in favor of the European Union’s proposed “Digital Single Market” concept, a proposed move that would create a single set of Internet rules for the EU’s member countries.

The plan actually aims to level the playing field between big, American tech giants like Facebook and Google and the smaller, up-and-coming tech companies trying to gain a foothold in Europe. But Zuckerberg doesn’t seem concerned about whether or not a Digital Single Market might hinder Facebook.

Instead, he supports the idea. Facebook has to deal with different laws in every country — something that takes a lot of time and manpower to keep up with — and a single set of regulations would actually make it easier on Facebook, he added.

“Sometimes you’re trying to conform to 20 different versions of different kinds of laws,” he said Thursday at a public Q&A at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. “I think that [a Digital Single Market] would be very good. It would make it easier for companies to offer services, easier for them to comply with the laws because they actually know what the laws are in all these different places.”

One thing worth pointing out: A Digital Single Market could actually hurt WhatsApp, the standalone messaging company Facebook paid $19 billion for in early 2014. The EU proposal included a section that wants to place over-the-top communication services like WhatsApp and Skype under the same regulation as telecom providers. These OTT services, as they’re called, allow people to communicate through voice calls over Wi-Fi and data plans as opposed to traditional voice plans sold by a carrier.

The proposal said the new regulations would “[ensure] a level playing field for market players and consistent applications of the rules.”

All of this is still a few years away, so nothing should happen in the near future to hurt Facebook or Google or any other top Internet giants. But it’s a proposal worth watching, and we now know where Zuckerberg fits into the debate.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.