Tuesday, August 16

Europe does not want Google, Amazon, Facebook or Apple to cross the line and passes the Digital Markets Act to limit their power

La Digital Markets Act (DMA) is closer to taking action. The new series of measures was unveiled by Magrethe Vestager in December 2020 and proposed a series of measures to restrict the radius of action of large technology companies.

Now those measures have been approved by the European Parliament, and will restrict how they can expand, as well as ensure that their growth does not prevent other rivals from competing with those companies. The measure especially affects giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook or Apple (GAFA), but its scope is also aimed at Chinese giants such as Alibaba or Zalando.

One more step for Big Tech to act within certain limits

The Digital Markets Act or Digital Market Law aims to address “negative consequences derived from the behavior of certain platforms that act as ‘gatekeepers’ in the single market “.

It is clearly aimed at large technology companies, and the European Commission considers that these companies “have the power to act as private norm-makers and to act as bottlenecks between companies and consumers. ” As our colleagues from Genbeta explained, in its original definition met its main standards:

  • It will apply only to the main basic platform service providers most prone to unfair practices, such as search engines, social media o online intermediation services, which meet the objective legislative criteria to be designated as gatekeepers;
  • Define quantitative thresholds on which the determination of the presumed guardians of access will be based. The Commission will also have the power to designate companies as gatekeepers following a market investigation;
  • Will ban a number of manifestly unfair practices, how to prevent users from uninstalling preinstalled software or applications;
  • It will require access guardians to proactively adopt certain measures, for example, specific measures by which third-party software is allowed to function properly and interact with their own services;
  • Impose penalties for non-compliance that could result in fines of up to 10% of world turnover of the guardian of access, in order to guarantee the effectiveness of the new norms. In the case of recurrent offenders, these sanctions may also entail the obligation to adopt structural measures, which could extend to the divestment of certain companies, when no other equally effective alternative measure is available to guarantee compliance.
  • The Commission may carry out specific market research to assess whether new gatekeeper practices and services need to be added to these standards to ensure that the new gatekeeper rules keep up with the fast pace of digital markets.

European regulators claim that the DMA also applies to browsers, virtual assistants and Smart TVs. These services and products are added to others already raised above such as social networks, intermediation services, search engines, operating systems or video sharing services.

Vestager celebrated the success of the vote, and indicated that the approval of the WFD “sends a clear message that European democracy will not let Big Tech set the rules of the game, the legislators will do it. “

The next step is to reconcile the WFD proposal with the different member countries of the European Union and with the European Commission. That will be done next year, and it will be the last process before this draft regulation becomes law.

Via | Reuters


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