The EU's dialogue with tech billionaire Elon Musk is not going well, a senior Commissioner has said. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)


Talks with Musk on digital rules not going well, Commissioner says


The European Commission’s dialogue with US tech billionaire Elon Musk over digital regulations is not going well, a senior Eurocrat has said.

Commissioner for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová made the comment amid rumours that Musk could be considering pulling his X social media platform out of the European market entirely to avoid being regulated via the European Union’s new censorship rules under the Digital Services Act.

Speaking about the situation, Jourová acknowledged that relations between Musk and the EC had soured over the past number of months.

“With Mr Musk, the dialog doesn’t go well, very simply,” she admitted.

The Commissioner went on to repeat demands that Musk comply with the DSA, although she acknowledged that such a responsibility would only apply if he continued to do business within the single market.

“[Musk is] good business in [the] European Union,” she said. “But it will be his decision and if he decides to stay in as well, he will have to comply with the EU law.”

Jourová’s comments come amid strained relations between Musk and the EU. Rumours are circulating that the tech billionaire could pull X from the EU over the DSA.

Musk has vehemently denied the suggestions, decrying the news outlet which first reported them as not being “a real publication”.

Regardless of the report’s accuracy, Musk’s demands for deregulation and free speech online have fallen on deaf ears within Europe where national governments have repeatedly demanded more online control be handed to Brussels.

Other social media platforms do not appear to have such problems with the new world order. Both Meta and TikTok have previously spoken positively of the DSA.

In stark contrast to her dealings with Musk, Jourová described a recent meeting with Meta’s President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg as “useful”.

The former deputy prime minister of the UK has been a clear supporter of the new censorship regulations. He wrote in August that Facebook-owner Meta “welcomes the principles of transparency, accountability and user empowerment at the heart of the DSA”.

That has not stopped Brussels from launching an investigation into the social media company over allegations it may not have sufficiently enforced the new measures.