A bipartisan group of 21 lawmakers in the United States has penned a letter to President Joe Biden expressing concerns about what they perceive as unfair targeting of American tech giants by European technology regulations.
According to the letter obtained by Reuters on Monday, the lawmakers argue that the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) disproportionately affects U.S. companies while sparing many Chinese and EU firms, reported Reuters.
The DMA designates five major U.S. tech companies, namely Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft, as “gatekeeper” service providers, reported Reuters. Effective March 2024, these companies, along with China’s ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, will be obligated to ensure interoperability of their messaging apps with competitors and allow users to choose pre-installed applications on their devices.
The letter emphasizes the potential adverse impact of these regulations on American economic and security interests. It calls on President Biden to engage with European leaders and secure commitments ensuring that the rules are enforced equitably. “Securing our leadership in this sector is imperative for our economy and American workers,” the lawmakers wrote. “The designation of leading U.S. companies as ‘gatekeepers’ threatens to upend the U.S. economy, diminish our global leadership in the digital sphere, and jeopardize the security of consumers.”
As of now, both the European Commission and the White House have not responded to requests for comments on the matter.
The European Union’s DMA and Digital Services Act (DSA) are considered by some experts as pioneering efforts in global tech regulation. These legislative initiatives aim to tailor laws specifically targeting major technology companies, often referred to as Big Tech, in an effort to ensure fair competition and protect consumers.
The lawmakers’ letter underscores the growing tension between the U.S. and the EU regarding tech regulations and the ongoing debate about the global leadership in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. This dispute may have broader implications for the future of international tech governance and cooperation.