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On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.

30 September 2014 0 Comments
Posted in Corporate & Commercial, Opinion

EU red tape strangling tech start-ups.

Author headshot image Posted by , Partner

The executive chairman of Google has said that the bureaucracy of the European Union has “strangled” the emerging technology start-up sector.

Eric Schmidt said earlier this week that innovation in the UK and on the continent is being held back by over-regulation that “stifled” technology firm’s ability to grow quickly.

Mr Schmidt said: “New businesses promoting new ideas should not be held back by bureaucratic or regulatory hurdles. If everything stays the same, innovation will be stifled and start-ups strangled.”

His comments come as Google continues to struggle with its relationship with the EU. In 2010 the European Commission began an investigation of the US Company, alleging it had anti-competitive practices, including suggestions that it manipulates its searches to favour its own websites.

And it seems that London’s Tech City share similar views. A number of industry leaders have said the UK’s subservience to EU law limited its potential and made it uncompetitive when compared to companies based in the US and China, which weren’t bound in as much red tape.

“Success is never guaranteed, especially in an area as competitive and fast-changing as technology, but Europe has all the right ingredients,” added Mr Schmidt. “It must re-double its commitment to the single market and steel its nerve to permit disruptive innovations.”

He called on the EU to reform its licensing rules, which forces technology start-ups to obtain licences to operate in each of the 28 EU member states, and asked for them to consider a “true digital single market.”

He also called on politicians from all EU states to get behind their emerging technology market and push for policy change in Brussels.

It would seem obvious that EU tech firms need a level playing field if they are to compete with businesses in the US and Far East and so hopefully Brussels will listen and act on these warnings.

In the meantime we at Royds have many years’ experience in guiding start-ups and more established businesses through the red tape and legal issues that they face on a day-to-day basis.

To find out how we can assist you, please contact John North  and  Claus Andersen.

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