Europe Targets Big Tech With Digital Markets Act

European lawmakers on Thursday have agreed on new sweeping legislation that will regulate the market power of tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA), proposed by the EU’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, targets what it calls “gatekeeper” firms and requires them to change allegedly anticompetitive practices.

Some of the DMA’s rules include making sure that companies’ collection of user data is done with explicit consent. It will also force tech firms that have app stores, such as Apple and Google, to allow third-party payment methods other than their built-in platforms where they charge commissions of up to 30 percent.

Companies that are deemed anticompetitive will face fines ranging from 10 percent of its annual global turnover to 20 percent for repeat offenders which could face an acquisition ban.

Tech giants that will be designated as online gatekeepers will be given six months to comply with the new rules.

“The law avoids any form of overregulation for small businesses,” said EU Parliament spokesperson Andreas Schwab.

“App developers will get completely new opportunities, small businesses will get more access to business-relevant data and the online advertising market will become fairer.”

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