The Woman Who Is Reining In America’s Technology Giants

Sam Schechner and Natalia Drozdiak:

When European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager fined Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL -2.20% Google €2.4 billion last June for abusing its dominance to clobber rivals, Josh Hawley in Missouri took notice.

Mr. Hawley, the state’s attorney general, launched his own antitrust investigation into the same allegations in November and has demanded a copy of all evidence Google has given the EU. Other state attorneys general are talking to Missouri about sharing information, according to people familiar with the discussions. “We are all watching the European proceedings,” says Mr. Hawley.

Ms. Vestager, a 49-year old Dane, has become the public face of Europe’s effort to rein in technology firms and the de facto global regulator for the U.S.’s tech giants. Her approach to companies such as Google and Apple Inc. is having a ripple effect around the globe, influencing regulatory action not only in the U.S. but in countries including Brazil, India and Russia.