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Digital Services Face EU Competition Crackdown

 |  February 6, 2020

The European Commission is mulling over measures to bolster competition rules for digital services in order to rein in the dominance of global tech giants and foster “technologies that work for people,” a draft communication obtained by EURACTIV reveals.

The document states “existing laws that govern the behaviour of traditional industries need to be adapted to the specific circumstances under which new digital business models operate.”

“It is important that the competition rules are fit for a world that is changing fast and increasingly digital,” the communication, which outlines Europe’s vision for its future digital landscape, adds. The document is due to be presented on February 19.

The Commission finds that its plans for the future of the digital sector will be marked by how it is able to leverage regulation as a means to ensure a competitive landscape in the European Union, fostering a “vibrant, globally competitive, value-based and inclusive digital economy and society” through three columns of activity: “Technology that works for people,” a “fair and competitive digital economy,” and a “digital and sustainable society.”

Within this tribrid, the communication draws attention to some of the forthcoming actions that the Commission is due to take as a means to bolster its global digital profile.

Such include the presentation of its White paper on Artificial Intelligence later this month, the introduction of the Digital Services Act towards the end of the year, a legislative framework for data governance, a commitment to firming up the EU’s key digital technologies, and the EU’s Media Action Plan and Democracy Action Plan.

On competition, the Commission states that it is currently in the process of “evaluating and reviewing the competition rules to ensure that they remain fit for purpose,” and will also launch a sector inquiry in the field. A specific timeline of when such reforms could be put forward is still being considered.

Full Content: EurActive

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