EU Is Lining Up New Rules To Level The Playing Field For Tech Giants

The European Union is lining up new rules to level the playing field for rivals, reported Reuters.

And just as its landmark privacy law became a global model, the EU’s new regulations could become a template for governments around the world looking to rein in Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. 

Driven in large part by a conclusion that multiple antitrust actions against Google have been ineffectual, the EU’s new strategy aims to lay down ground rules for data-sharing and how digital marketplaces operate. “It is indeed to prevent a situation like the ones we have had with the Google cases so that we still would have competition,” the EU’s digital chief as well as its top antitrust enforcer Margrethe Vestager told Reuters last month. Google did not respond to a request for comment. A person close to the firm said the EU legislative push was clearly driven in part by the cases against it. 

Despite action for anti-competitive conduct related to Google’s search engine operations, its Android mobile operating system, and its advertising business, antitrust enforcers and rivals say they have yet to see more competition. 

So as US antitrust enforcers prepare yet another possible case against Google, the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) could instead force big tech firms to offer smaller rivals access to data on reasonable, standardized, and non-discriminatory terms. 

“This is another sign (of) the EU strengthening its leadership in enforcement in these markets and a number of other national competition agencies are following its lead,” said law professor Ioannis Kokkoris at Queen Mary University of London. Some critics worry that the wide-ranging new powers may enable regulators to bypass standards set by EU courts and mix up competition law with politics.

The UK says it will create its own regime of subsidy control, based on the concepts of the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, with both sides agreeing to notify each other “every two years” on subsidies.

Full Content: Reuters

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