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Europe's strict regulation of network operators stops them from launching the same services that Internet giants such as Google and Facebook can provide, a senior executive for the region's biggest cable operator told attendees at a conference in London on Tuesday.

Stringent oversight of the region's operators means they cannot use the data they store about customers in the same way as Google and Facebook, said Jim Ryan, the chief strategy officer for Liberty Global, during a panel discussion at the Digital Futures 2017 conference hosted by analyst firm Ovum.

"One frustration that network operators have is that services are increasingly about big data, and regulation will have a massive impact on how quickly that develops," Ryan told conference attendees. "We get frustrated as network infrastructure players because we can't mine the same data as Google and Facebook."

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