France to host Internet leaders for "e-G8" talks

PARIS Fri May 13, 2011 12:55pm EDT

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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will host technology titans, including Facebook, Google and Amazon, at a summit to debate how governments can encourage innovation on the Internet, while taming its excesses.

The forum, which is to be held on May 24-25 in Paris, is part of Sarkozy's year-long tenure as the president of the G8 group of major economies.

Sarkozy wrote on his Facebook page on Friday that the social networking site's founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Amazon's Chief Executive Jeff Bezos would be attending.

The talks will focus on Internet regulation, its economic impact, fostering innovation, and protecting intellectual property rights online.

They come at a time when the U.S. and Europe are adopting divergent regulations on hot-button tech issues such as privacy online, net neutrality, and antitrust protections. A large gap has also emerged between the flourishing innovation-based economy of Silicon Valley and the low-growth Old Continent, which European leaders would like to address.

The conclusions of the forum will be presented at a May 27-28 summit of G8 heads of state in the French seaside resort of Deauville.

Other heavy hitters set to attend include the CEOs of media giant News Corp., entertainment group Vivendi, and auction website eBay.

The conference is being organized by Publicis for the French government.

(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry and Leila Abboud; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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