EU Finalizes Rules For Regulating Big Tech

EU Expands Rules Targeting Big Tech

European Union lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to target Big Tech companies’ anticompetitive practices, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

Brussels wants to make it so the companies, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, don’t have as much power in the digital economy, according to the report.

The European Parliament’s main parties agreed Wednesday (Nov. 17) to make new rules for companies with a market capitalization of at least 80 billion euros (about $90.7 billion) and offering at least one internet service, the report stated.

The new rules would ban anti-competitive behavior, such as undermining rival services by taking advantage of being dominant. The rules would boost the power of competition authorities to examine tech companies’ acquisitions of smaller rivals to make sure those acquisitions aren’t intended to kill off challenges to business, according to the report.

The rules would also affect Netherlands-based Booking, as well as Alibaba, the report stated.

Lawmakers have also been engaged in discussions over whether to ban targeted advertising, which represents a large chunk of the revenue for companies like Google and Facebook, according to the report. They ended up not banning it, but there will be restrictions, like protection for children and more stringent transparency requirements.

Lawmakers have not come to a consensus regarding their unified position on the Digital Services Act, though, which is proposed legislation intended to rule on how Big Tech should deal with illegal and harmful content on the internet.

Last week, Big Tech had a tough time as the EU meted out a $2.8 billion fine to Google parent Alphabet in a shopping ads antitrust case.

Read more: Big Tech Firms Face Tough Week Following EU Clamp-Down

An EU spokesperson said the judgment “delivers the clear message that Google’s conduct was unlawful and it provides the necessary legal clarity for the market.”