The European Union today adopted landmark rules tackling anti-competitive abuse by the world’s largest technology platforms, a move that will set the standard for a level playing field in global digital markets.
In an agreement negotiated tonight, European Parliament and Council negotiators reached a political agreement on the Digital Markets Act, which lays out a set of bans and duties for companies like Google, Meta, Apple and Amazon, as well as a number of smaller platforms. These likely include accommodation platform Booking and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Platforms with a market capitalization of 75 billion euros or a turnover in the European Economic Area of at least 7.5 billion euros fall within the scope of the rules
“The law on digital markets ends the ever-increasing dominance of big tech companies,” said executive MEP Andreas Schwab. “From now on, big-tech companies must show that they also allow fair competition on the Internet.”
“The new rules will help enforce this fundamental principle. The days of long antitrust proceedings in which the authorities lagged behind the big tech companies are over. Europe is thus ensuring more competition, more innovation and more choice for users.”
The new rules for so-called gatekeeper platforms, resulting from years of antitrust enforcement in the digital economy, include restrictions on combining personal data from different sources, regulations allowing users to install apps from third-party platforms, bans on service bundling and a ban on self-preference practices.
Parliament also managed to persuade the Council of interoperability requirements for messaging services, meaning entities like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or iMessage have to open up and work with smaller messaging platforms. For group chats, this requirement will roll out over a four-year period.
Penalties for rule violations can be as high as 10 percent of annual global sales for first violations and as much as 20 percent for repeat violations.
Parliament was also successful in calling for web browsers and virtual assistants to be included in the scope of core platform services.
The Commission, as lead enforcer of the rules, is now tasked with staffing the relevant services that will be involved in the designation procedures and preparing the enforcement of the obligations and bans that will come into force later this year.
FIX: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the launch period for certain group chat features. It’s four years.
https://www.politico.eu/article/eus-digital-markets-act-adopted/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication EU passes Digital Markets Act – POLITICO