The European Union wants to better supervise the digital giants

it is “the most important economic regulation in recent decades”After several months of negotiations, the French Foreign Minister for Digital, Cédric O. .

A compromise has been sealed between the European institutions on digital market regulation (Digital Markets Act, DMA), which will impose on Gafam – Google, Apple, Meta (Facebook), Amazon and Microsoft – a number of obligations and bans to curb anti -competitive practices.

also read Article reserved for our subscribers Europe is making progress in regulating the digital world

“The agreement ushers in a new era of technology regulation around the world. The Digital Markets Act puts an end to the ever-increasing dominance of large tech companies”said the German MEP Andreas Schwab (European People’s Party, EPP), rapporteur for the text.

The rules, which are expected to enter into force in January 2023, mark a change in the philosophy of the fight against the abuse of large platforms. After years of futile pursuit of the crimes of these multinational corporations in endless litigation, Brussels wants to act upstream by imposing on them twenty rules to be observed under the penalty of dissuasive fines. Purpose: to act quickly and efficiently before infringing conduct has disrupted competition.

Apple says it is “concerned”

The text is aimed only at the major platforms: Gafam and perhaps a handful of other groups such as the online booking company Booking or the social network TikTok. The list needs to be defined according to already established criteria for revenue, market value and number of users. There is “will have far-reaching consequences” on the activity of these firms, believes Katrin Schallenberg, from the law firm Clifford Chance.

In a response sent to the Agence France-Presse (AFP), the American group Apple said “taken” by “certain provisions [qui] will create unnecessary vulnerabilities in the privacy and security of our users, while others will prohibit us from charging for the intellectual property in which we invest heavily. “. A free choice of software application stores will be introduced, which in particular makes it possible to bypass the Apple App Store, which has long been in the eyes of the European Commission.

also read Article reserved for our subscribers On the Internet, Europe is being challenged to apply its own rules

“While supporting many of the DMA’s ambitions for consumer choice and interoperability, we remain concerned about the potential risks to innovation and the many choices offered to Europeans.”, responded to AFP, a spokesman for Google, who said he wanted to study the final text and work with regulators on its implementation. Meta and Amazon did not respond to AFP’s requests.

The legislation establishes the Commission’s control over all acquisitions of these giants, regardless of the size of the target, in order to limit the catch of innovation by start – ups and to avoid acquisitions with the sole purpose of killing a competitor.

In total, it sets out about twenty rules to curb the abuses observed in recent years. Thus, the major platforms are banned from displaying favoritism of their own services in search engine results, which Google has been accused of doing with its online sales site Google Shopping.

One of the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The new law will prevent these giants from using the data generated on their website by business customers to better compete with those for whom Amazon has been accused. The text, which was one of the main priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, will also better protect users by making their consent mandatory for cross-referencing data from several online services for the purpose of advertising profiling. This will prevent the imposition of pre-installed software on computers or phones, such as browsers or music applications, and facilitate the use of alternative products.

At home, the European Parliament has also achieved the addition of the interoperability of messaging services, which will allow, for example, a signal user to communicate with a contact using WhatsApp (Meta).

Fines of up to 10% of global sales are set in case of a breach, and even 20% in case of a repeat offense.

The EU is in place “immediately applicable obligations, short and strict deadlines (to correct any errors) and dissuasive sanctions”summed up the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, who presented this project in December 2020 together with his competition counterpart, Margrethe Vestager.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Infographics: GAFAs more powerful than ever

The world with AFP

Leave a Comment