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Monkeypox in Europe — Big Tech vs. Telecoms battle

In this bumper edition before the summer break, we explain the monkeypox outbreak in Europe and the EU’s response. We also preview the biggest lobbying battle brewing in Brussels between Big Tech platforms and telecom operators.

POLITICO’s Samuel Stolton, who covers competition and tech policy, hosts this week’s episode, which kicks off with a discussion about the spread of monkeypox in Europe. Health care reporter Helen Collis explains which countries are seeing a rise in infections, and the race to secure vaccines. Helen reveals that the European Commission is re-thinking how it buys vaccines and drugs for the bloc — thus far failing to come through with adequate monkeypox shots to fill demand.

Then we preview one of the biggest Brussels lobbying battles you can expect to witness over the coming months. Our lobbying guru Sarah Wheaton and chief technology correspondent Mark Scott set the stage for this debate between Big Tech platforms and telecoms operators over whether platforms should have to pay the telecoms industry for the infrastructure they need to build in order to compensate for the masses of data their users consume across platforms like Google, Meta, Netflix and Amazon.

Sam then hosts a lively debate between the top representatives of each side.

On the telecoms side, is Alessandro Gropelli from the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), which represents the likes of Deutsche Telekom, Orange and BT. Joining his side of the debate is Jan-Niklas Steinhauer, head of policy and regulatory affairs at the German Broadband Association (BREKO).

On the Big Tech side, is Christian Borggreen from The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) representing the likes of Apple, Google, Meta and Amazon. And he’s joined by Thomas Lohninger, executive director of the digital rights NGO epicenter.works.

Programming note: We are off for a summer holiday, but we’ll be back in your podcast feed on Thursday, September 8 with our new host, Suzanne Lynch, currently the co-author of POLITICO’s Brussels Playbook.

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