US Tech vs. European Traditions, Will Data Centers be regulated in the future?

The Data Center industry is young compared to many other industries that make money. WSJ has an article on the challenges that exist between US Technology companies and European Sovereign States.

To give you an idea of the money involved consider this nugget.  5 US Tech firms have a larger market cap than 30 blue-chip companies in the DAX index in Germany.

The U.S. firms loom large. The market valuation of five U.S. tech firms— Apple Inc., Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. —is $1.8 trillion. That compares to $1.3 trillion for all 30 blue-chip companies in the DAX index in Germany, Europe’s largest economy.

The article mentions the interest in requiring data to be housed in countries.

This data is the fuel that drives the online advertising and commerce machines that Google, Facebook and Amazon have spent years honing and monetizing. Rising calls for these companies to house such information in local data centers in Europe could make these machines more expensive to run.

There are hints of potential regulation

Europe’s policymakers, accustomed to controlling key sectors of their economies, are struggling to get a handle on the fast-moving newcomers from across the ocean. Growth is weak and government revenues soft, and they see profits that once accrued to European industries from retail to media to taxicabs, being diverted—often lightly taxed—to Silicon Valley. They worry that critical industries such as autos may fall next.

Why worry, because these US tech companies are disrupting existing business models.

“Europeans have got everything to lose” from the rise of U.S. technology firms, said Paul Stoneman, emeritus professor at Warwick Business School and a former U.K. antitrust official.

Don't think this is just the governments.  In a classic move, competitors are supporting actions against others.

And some U.S. firms themselves are exploiting the European tensions to attack rivals. Microsoft has been a driving force behind the antitrust campaign against Google in Brussels, while Oracle Corp. is another member of the Fairsearch alliance that has actively agitated against Google.

Including some of the Telecoms.

For big European companies with clout in Europe’s corridors of power, their traditional business-expansion model is threatened. Europe’s telecom giants, for instance, lobbied regulators for years to ease price caps and competition rules to allow them to grow. But they are now being challenged by so-called over-the-top players such as messaging service WhatsApp, which use the incumbents’ infrastructure to provide lower-cost, high-value alternatives.