Tech Firms Lobby EU on Rules for Data

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Google Inc. (GOOG) and other U.S. tech giants are pushing to streamline Europe’s privacy rules in order to offer more remote computing and data-storage services.

These companies, which are investing billions of dollars to build big data centers in Europe, are seeking a single set of rules across the 27-nation bloc for so-called cloud-computing services. They want to sell computer capacity to businesses and governments—as well as storage space for everything from pictures of grandma to the medical records of diabetics, to 500 million consumers.

The EU’s fractured rules may prove “real hurdles or speed bumps to sales” said Mike Hintze, Microsoft’s associate general counsel. “That’s the case for us, as well as other cloud-services providers.”

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