EU Lawmakers Agree To New Big Tech Antitrust Laws

European lawmakers have given the green light to antitrust law changes targeting self-preferencing by Apple and other big tech companies, but there are fears that it will be difficult to enforce the regulations. 

Following months of negotiations and over a year and a half after being proposed, the European Parliament has approved the final iterations of the Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act. The legal reforms, which seek to curb the power of tech giants over the rest of the industry, have taken a major step towards becoming European law. 

Ratified by MEPs on Tuesday, the DMA is a set of rules that cracks down on antitrust behavior, geared towards encouraging competition. The DSA passed with 588 votes in favor, reports ETNews, with only 11 votes against, and 31 abstentions.

Obligations are set for the “gatekeepers” to “ensure a fairer business environment and more services to consumers,” the European Parliament says. These rules include allowing third-parties to “inter-operate” with services, such as enabling other firms to work with Apple’s Messages platform. 

It will also enable business users to access data they generate on a platform, enabling promotion and concluding contracts with customers outside of the platforms. 

Platforms, such as those run by Apple, will be prevented from ranking their own services and products more favorably in generic search results. They will also be stopped from preventing users from easily uninstalling preloaded software or apps, or from accessing third-party app stores, and from processing user’s personal data for targeted advertising.

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