EU Lawmakers Vote For Tougher Tech Laws

A key committee of EU lawmakers on Tuesday agreed to tougher laws targeting Amazon, Apple,  Google and Facebook, reported Reuters. Frustrated by the slow pace of antitrust investigations, Vestager late last year proposed the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which sets out a list of dos and don’ts for US tech giants designated as online gatekeepers.

Gatekeepers are companies with at least 8 billion euros ($9 billion) in European turnover and an 80 billion euro market capitalisation. The rules need to be thrashed out with the European Parliament and EU countries before they can be adopted.

A Parliamentary committee, drafting lawmakers’ negotiating position on the issue, voted for a tougher line that could also see travel website booking.com, China’s Alibaba and online retailer Zalando classified as gatekeepers.

The group also extended the scope of the DMA to web browsers, virtual assistants and connected TV, from Vestager’s list of online intermediation services, social networks, search engines, operating systems, online advertising services, cloud computing and video-sharing services.

It also wants to empower the European Commission to temporarily halt so-called killer acquisitions by gatekeepers, or takeovers aimed at shutting down nascent rivals.