Germany, seeking to rein in internet giants like Google and Facebook, plans to bolster the powers of its competition watchdog to prevent such companies from becoming monopolies even before they achieve scale.

The initiative, announced on Tuesday, could include blocking big players from taking over smaller rivals and follows up on a pledge by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition to curb big U.S. internet companies which, in the eyes of many German lawmakers, have become too powerful.

“My goal is to make our competition law more effective,” said Economy Minister Peter Altmaier. “In doing so we must find the right balance between the growth chances of German and European platforms and preventing the abuse of market power.”

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