EU lawmakers pass landmark tech rules, but enforcement is a concern

BRUSSELS, July 5 (Reuters) – European lawmakers on Tuesday approved landmark rules aimed at curbing tech giants such as Google Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Facebook and Microsoft (MSFT.O), but enforcement could be hampered by regulators’ limited resources.

Along with rules known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), lawmakers also approved the Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires online platforms to do more to monitor the internet for illegal content.

Companies face fines of up to 10% of annual worldwide revenue for DMA violations and 6% for DSA violations. Lawmakers and EU states had reached a political agreement on the two regulations earlier this year, leaving some details to be ironed out. Read more

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The European Commission has set up a task force, which around 80 officials are expected to join, which critics say is insufficient. Last month, it launched a 12 million euro ($12.3 million) tender for experts to help with investigations and compliance enforcement over a four-year period.

European industry chief Thierry Breton sought to address enforcement concerns, saying various teams would focus on different issues such as risk assessment, messaging service interoperability and access to data when implementing the rules.

Regulators will also set up a European Center for Algorithmic Transparency to attract data science and algorithm scientists to help with enforcement.

“We have started to adapt the internal organization to this new role, including moving existing resources, and we also plan to accelerate recruitment next year and in 2024 to staff the dedicated team in DG CONNECT with more than 100 full-time people,” said Breton. in a blog post.


Lawmaker Andreas Schwab, who led the issue in the European Parliament, called for a larger task force to counter Big Tech’s deep pockets and range of lawyers.

The European Consumers’ Bureau (BEUC) echoes the same concerns.

“We sounded the alarm last week with other civil society groups that if the Commission does not hire the experts it needs to monitor Big Tech practices in the market, legislation could be crippled by ineffective enforcement,” said BEUC Deputy Director General Ursula Pachl. A declaration.

DMA will force changes in business operations, requiring them to make their messaging services interoperable and provide business users with access to their data.

Business users would be able to promote competing products and services on a platform and strike deals with customers outside the platforms.

Companies won’t be allowed to favor their own services over those of competitors or prevent users from removing pre-installed software or apps, two rules that will hit Google and Apple hard.

The DSA prohibits targeted advertising aimed at children or based on sensitive data such as religion, gender, race and political opinions. Dark schemes, which are tactics that trick people into providing personal data to online businesses, will also be banned. ($1 = 0.9754 euros)

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Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Alex Richardson

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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