EU announces sweeping new rules on Big Tech companies

“Big Tech” could soon face stiff fines and stricter controls over their behavior as part of sweeping new European Union rules. The remedies could ultimately include forcing companies to disinvest if they systematically break the rules.

Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition
Silvia Amaro for CNBC:

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, on Tuesday presented two new pieces of legislation that will affect how Big Tech operates… The new Digital Markets Act aims to tackle behavior that closes these markets off.

One of the potential changes is putting an end to self-preferencing — when, for instance, app search results in an Apple product display options developed by the tech giant. Other practical changes include: companies like Apple and Google will have to allow users to uninstall apps that have originally come with their devices, and performance metrics will also have to be shared for free with advertisers and publishers.

Failure to comply could result in fines as high as 10% of the companies’ worldwide annual turnover… The remedies could ultimately include forcing companies to divest if they breach the rules systematically.

Additionally, the European Commission presented a second piece of legislation: the Digital Services Act. This is designed to address illegal and harmful content by asking platforms to rapidly take it down. There will also be fines for companies that do not follow these rules.

The EU’s competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, said Tuesday that the two proposals would ultimately serve a dual purpose. “To make sure that we, as users, have access to a wide choice of safe products and services online. And that businesses operating in Europe can freely and fairly compete online just as they do offline.”

MacDailyNews Note: These proposed new rules for “Big Tech” will have to be approved by European governments and lawmakers, as process, even when expedited, could take at least two years.


    1. My Mac arrived with any number of pre-installed applications. I chose to keep using them, but could have removed them. I don’t see a fundamental problem with people being allowed to remove pre-installed apps on an iPhone, although they do risk diminishing its functionality. Most people would use it pretty well as it leaves the factory. Those who choose to change anything will either know what they’re doing, or will think they know.

  1. A major problem for producers right now is Copyright Trolls. Anyone can put a copyright claim on anything, and providers will take it down with no evidence that the claimant owns anything. There are no penalties for copyright fraud right now – even when discovered, no one wants to bother with it.

    Of course big corporate media are immune to this.

  2. You can criticise the EU but you can’t ignore it – this will become a framework for similar laws elsewhere around the world if adopted.

    Though, with the expected time needed to pursue action under this proposal, it looks like it’ll be reserved for only the most egregious breaches.

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