Big tech companies will be regulated like banks, a senior EU official said on Friday, as a landmark new digital law was hailed as Europe’s long-awaited counterweight to Google, Meta and Amazon.
“For companies that play a gatekeeper role, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) will (now) set the rules of the game,” EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager told reporters hours later. the approval of the law.
This has “been done for a long time in sectors such as banking, telecoms, energy, transport” and “finally, we are establishing the same reality here”, she added.
France’s representative to the European Commission, Thierry Breton, said the law marked “a very important moment for Europe” in which public authorities have “taken back power”.
“Everyone is welcome, but we have rules and they must be respected,” added Breton, commissioner for industrial policy.
Praise and some criticism poured in after negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states agreed Thursday night on legislation that will curb the market dominance of tech giants such as Google, the owner from Facebook Meta, Amazon and Apple.
The European Consumers’ Organization hailed a “great moment for consumers and businesses who have suffered from the harmful practices of Big Tech”, said deputy director Ursula Pachl.
DMA “will end many of the worst practices that Big Tech has engaged in over the years.”
– “A great importance” –
Big Tech’s lobby says DMA is “of great importance,” while cautioning against offering “one-size-fits-all” solutions to very different businesses, according to a statement from Computer & Communications. Industry Association.
As the final details are worked out, “we hope that sufficient resources will be allocated and that affected companies will have a fair chance to comply,” the CCIA added.
Apple said Thursday evening it was “concerned” about certain “privacy and security” risks to users of its products, while Google warned of “potential risks” to innovation and the variety of choices that available to Europeans.
The DMA offers a long list of do’s and don’ts for Big Tech companies that would face massive fines if they don’t comply.
Vestager said the law is expected to be published in the EU’s Official Journal around October, after being officially approved by member states and MEPs from the bloc.
The Commission will then have six months to designate the companies concerned, supposedly only the American tech giants and perhaps a handful of other players such as Booking.com or TikTok.
The first possible fines for non-compliance are not expected before the first quarter of 2024.