December 2, 2023

European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager holds a press conference on a plan to boost the chip industry, in Brussels, Belgium, on February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Hermann

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers on Tuesday muttered historic rules to rein in the power of tech giants such as Alphabet (GOOGL.O), the Google unit, Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Facebook and Microsoft (MSFT.O). , but its enforcement may be problematic due to the regulators’ limited resources.

In addition to rules known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), lawmakers have also approved the Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires online platforms to do more to monitor the internet for illegal content.

Companies face fines of up to 10% of annual global sales volume for DMA violations and 6% for DMA violations. Lawmakers and EU countries reached a political agreement on the two sets of rules earlier this year, leaving some details to be ironed out. Read more

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Big Tech’s two rulebooks are built on EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s experiences with investigations into companies. It has created a DMA task force, with about 80 officials expected to join, which critics say is insufficient.

Lawmaker Andreas Schwab, who ran the case through the European Parliament, called for a larger task force to be formed to tackle companies’ deep pockets.

The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) echoed the same concerns.

“We raised the alarm last week with other civil society groups that if the Commission does not appoint the experts it needs to monitor Big Tech’s market practices, legislation could be held up by ineffective implementation,” said Ursula Pashel, BEUC Deputy Director General. a permit.

DMA is set to force changes in businesses’ businesses, requiring them to make their messaging services interoperable and providing business users with access to their data.

Business users will be able to promote competing products and services on a platform and reach deals with customers outside of the platforms.

Companies will not be allowed to favor their own services over their competitors or prevent users from removing pre-installed software or apps, two rules that will hit Google and Apple hard.

The DSA prohibits targeted ads that target children or are based on sensitive data such as religion, gender, race, and political opinions. Dark patterns, which are tactics that mislead people into giving out personal data to companies online, will also be banned.

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Fu Yun Che reports. Editing by Alex Richardson

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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