EU to unveil tough measures to curb tech giants
The European Union today will unveil tough draft rules targeting tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook, whose power Brussels sees as a threat to competition and even democracy.
The landmark proposals — which come as Silicon Valley faces increasing scrutiny around the world — could shake up the way Big Tech does business by menacing some of the globe’s biggest firms with mammoth fines or bans from the European market.
EU sources told AFP the long-trailed legislation would see the internet behemoths facing fines of up to 10 per cent of their revenues for breaking some of the most serious competition rules.
It also proposes banning them from the EU market “in the event of serious and repeated breaches of law which endanger the security of European citizens”, one of the sources said.
The Digital Services Act and its accompanying Digital Markets Act will lay out strict conditions for doing business in the EU’s 27 countries as authorities aim to rein in the spread of disinformation and hate speech online, and Big Tech’s business dominance.
Around ten of the largest companies — including Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft — would be designated as internet “gatekeepers” under the legislation and subjected to specific regulations to limit their power over the market.
But the proposals will go through a long and complex ratification process, with the EU’s 27 member states, the European Parliament, and a lobbying frenzy of companies and trade associations, influencing the final law.
“The idea is not to do away with the large platforms, but to impose rules on them to prevent them from posing risks to our democracy,” the EU’s industry commissioner Thierry Breton said.