Highlights

  • EU unveils Digital Markets Act
  • DMA aims to rein in power of big tech
  • DMA could come into force by October: EU

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European Union unveils landmark legislation to control big tech

The EU's Digital Markets Act is aimed at reining the power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple.

The European Union has unveiled its biggest ever legislative effort to curtail the power of ‘big tech’ companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google. The Digital Markets Act, or DMA, is aimed at reining in US-based tech companies, and encouraging competition from smaller companies.

The DMA will force companies that it deems as ‘gatekeepers’ to perform new obligations. The act defines ‘gatekeepers’ as companies with a market cap of at least €75 billion and at least 45 million monthly users. This only applies to ‘platforms’ like apps or social networks. If the companies flout these obligations, they could be faced with extremely steep fines, up to 20% of total worldwide turnover.

Also Read: Get iPhone on subscription? Apple working on new service, says report

Digital Markets Act

In part, the act targets messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage, which according to the EU must open up to interoperability with other messaging apps. There’s also a requirement for users to be able to freely choose their browser, virtual assistants or search engines.

The DMA has yet to be tabled, or approved by the EU Parliament and Council. The EU’s Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, said that she expects the act to come into force sometime in October. She told The Verge that the act aims to make the tech sector more open and accessible.

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