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Europe Takes on the Big Tech Masters of the Universe with Digital Markets Act

The Big Tech Masters of the Universe are facing renewed pushback as the European Union Council and European Parliament have reached a provisional political agreement on the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA will attempt to tame the anti-competitive power of tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook, which the act labels as “gatekeepers.”

Variety reports that the reach of tech giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple could be seriously reduced as the European Union Council and European Parliament have reached a political agreement on the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA development process began 16 months ago and defines clear rules governing online platforms.

The DMA aims to ensure that no online platform that controls online information and acts as a gatekeeper for a large number of users can abuse its power or negatively affect other companies wishing to access the platform’s users.

The DMA defines a “gatekeeper” company as a platform with annual revenue of at least €7.5 billion ($8.2 billion) within the EU in the past three years. Companies that have a market valuation of €75 billion ($82 billion) can also be considered gatekeepers if they have at least 45 million monthly users and 10,000 business users in the EU.

Firms designated as gatekeepers are not allowed to rank their own products or services higher than others, something which companies like Google and Amazon have repeatedly been accused of. Gatekeepers are also banned from reusing private data collected during a service for the purposes of another service, pre-installing certain software applications, developing unfair conditions for business users, or requiring app developers to use certain services like payment systems — including Apple’s Apple Pay processor — in order to be listed in app stores.

If a company violates these rules they risk a fine of up to 10 per cent of its worldwide revenue, repeated offences risk a fine of up to 20 per cent of worldwide turnover. If a gatekeeper violates the rules three times in eight years, the European Commission can open a market investigation and impose behavioural or structural remedies.

Read more at Variety here.

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