EU Digital Chief Vestager Invites Big Tech To Talk Ground Rules

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American Big Tech companies will have a virtual sit-down on Nov. 24 with European Union (EU) Digital Head Margrethe Vestager to discuss rules in the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Alphabet, Apple, Amazon and Facebook will have video discussions with Vestager regarding EU draft rules intended to restrict the power of tech companies, according to a Reuters report on Thursday (Nov. 19).

The DSA mandates the transparency of algorithms and proposes new rules surrounding content moderation and online advertising. The DMA tackles the misuse of “market clout” by digital gatekeepers.

Vestager, who is the European Competition Commissioner and executive vice president of the European Commission, and Thierry Breton, the EU internal market commissioner responsible for digital regulation, are scheduled to present the DSA and DMA to the European Parliament next month.

Chief executives from about 20 companies — among them Microsoft, Booking.com, Expedia, Trivago and DuckDuckGo — were invited by Breton, a source told Reuters.

It could take over a year before final adoption of the rules is completed. Breton will solicit feedback from EU countries and the European Parliament before they are finalized.

EU regulators compiled a Big Tech hit list proposing tougher regulations for companies with too much influence and unfair competition practices. Companies on the list were chosen according to market share of revenues and number of users.

Although some feared that Vestager would call for the breakup of the tech companies, she said she didn’t think that would be necessary. She noted that lawmakers might need new powers to regulate markets dominated by Google and other Big Tech firms.

Violators of the proposed new EU anti-competition rules could end up being banned from doing business there. The new regulations will target the biggest and most influential tech firms, including Google and Facebook.

The latest crackdown on the power of Big Tech follows enforcement efforts of privacy measures outlined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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