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Big Tech Meets With EU Parliament To Talk eCommerce & Platforms

 |  May 24, 2022

A delegation of the European Parliament met with executives from tech companies including Google, Meta, Apple, Airbnb, eBay, PayPal, and Uber to discuss the latest digital market advances, but also to get a closer look at the US’ legislative work on eCommerce and platforms.

A delegation of the EU Parliament will be at Silicon Valley between May 23 and 27 to meet with tech companies, authorities and academics. The visit will be led by Andreas Schwab, the main rapporteur of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a new EU law that will impose restrictions on Big Tech companies to foster competition in digital markets.  

Related: Antitrust Chronicle – E-Commerce and Pricing Concerns – An Antitrust Perspective

Lawmakers will also use this opportunity to discuss the recent U.S. legislative work on eCommerce and platforms as well as exchange views on the EU’s digital policy agenda. Just last week, the EU Parliament reached an agreement with EU member states for the approval of the DMA. EU leaders expect that this visit will “feed into the committee’s ongoing work on the digital single market and consumer protection.”

The meeting likely won’t be limited to the topics mentioned in the official press release, and Schwab has already given good proof of that. On Monday (May 23), he tweeted about a documentary on Big Tech companies where he is featured, suggesting that issues like taxation and data control could be also part of the conversations with authorities.

Also on Monday, Schwab told Politico that he is planning to bring up accusations against Cloudfare in his next meeting, made by Ukraine’s digital minister that the company is offering services in Russia and paying taxes that “help finance the Russian army.”

But one piece of legislation that is as important to EU lawmakers as the DMA is the Digital Services Act (DSA). The DSA has been approved by Parliament, but it may still be subject to minor changes in the last legislative steps before the final rubber stamping.

The DSA seeks to make platform companies responsible for the content published on their platforms, and is based on the 2001 eCommerce Directive. With eCommerce being one of the key issues for this visit, there is a strong likelihood the DSA may be discussed. In a similar vein, California lawmakers recently introduced several bills targeting online platforms algorithms, children’s data and privacy.

Read More: India: CCI releases market study on e-commerce

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