EU Lawmakers Pass Significant Technology Legislation, But Enforcement Is A Concern

On Tuesday, EU lawmakers approved unprecedented regulations to curb the dominance of digital titans such as Alphabet unit Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, but enforcing them may be difficult due to regulators’ limited resources.

Along with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) provisions, lawmakers also approved the Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires Internet companies to do more to police the internet for illicit content.

Companies can incur fines of up to 10% of their annual global turnover for DMA infractions and 6 per cent for DSA offences. Lawmakers and EU member states secured a political agreement on both sets of rules earlier this year, but certain details remained to be worked out.

The two Big Tech rule books were based on EU antitrust director Margrethe Vestager’s investigations into the businesses. She has formed a DMA taskforce, with approximately 80 officials slated to participate, which opponents believe is insufficient.

Andreas Schwab, the European Parliament’s lead on the matter, has asked for a larger taskforce to battle Big Tech’s huge coffers.

The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) expressed similar concerns.

“We raised the alarm last week with other civil society groups that if the Commission does not hire the experts it needs to monitor Big Tech’s practices in the market, the legislation could be hamstrung by ineffective enforcement,” BEUC Deputy Director General Ursula Pachl said in a statement.

The DMA is intended to compel companies to make their messaging systems interoperable and allow corporate users with access to their data.

Business users would be able to promote rival products and services on a platform while also negotiating arrangements with customers outside of the platforms.

Companies will not be permitted to favour their own services over competitors’, nor will they be permitted to block customers from deleting pre-installed software or apps, two laws that would severely impact Google and Apple.

The DSA prohibits targeted advertising to children or advertising based on sensitive facts such as religion, gender, race, or political beliefs. Dark patterns, or strategies that trick users into providing personal information to organisations online, would also be forbidden.

(Adapted from USNews.com)

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