A PYMNTS Company

EU: New rules look to unify digital markets

 |  September 13, 2016

They provide similar services, so now they’ll be held to the same standards. A new draft proposal from the European Union may soon extend security rules that currently apply exclusively to telecom operators like Vodafone, Orange, and Deutsche Telekom to web services like Facebook-owned Whatsapp, Skype, and Apple’s FaceTime.

As first reported by Reuters, the European Commission plans to reveal reforms to its 15-year-old set of telecom regulations this coming week. The new rules will require web companies that also allow users to make calls and send messages to “ensure the security and integrity of their services, including reporting breaches to authorities and having contingency plans and service continuity strategies.”

It’s a victory for telecom companies, which have pointed out for years that so-called “over the top players” like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook do not face the same stringent regulations as more traditional communication firms, despite supplying extremely similar services. These new proposed changes may also help to even the score between European providers and largely US-based internet companies, which has long been a contentious subject within the European Union.

That said, not all web services will be required to uphold the exact same security obligations, as some of these services “do not exercise control over the transmission of their services over telecom networks,” Reuters reports.

Full Content: Reuters

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.