Bloomberg) -- Companies from banks to U.S. technology giants risk fines of as much as 4 percent of their global annual sales if they fail to protect their customers’ data, under a European Union deal to beef up the powers of privacy regulators across the 28-nation bloc.

EU negotiators in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday sealed the historic deal almost four years after the first proposals to overhaul the bloc’s 1995 data-protection law. Once the agreement is rubber-stamped by lawmakers and EU governments, the rules are expected to take effect from 2018.

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